SAN FRANCISCO -- Given the choice between ending a stretch of inactivity by pitching in a non-save situation and enduring one more idle day, Brian Wilson would prefer to rest.
Wilson has gone three days or more without pitching eight different times this season, due to stretches without save opportunities and scheduled off-days. His appearance in Monday's 8-6 victory over Detroit, in which he yielded two ninth-inning runs, ended a three-day break.
Wilson has maintained that he's most effective when he's protecting a one-run lead. Entering the game with a four-run cushion, as he did against the Tigers, was something he would have preferred to avoid. But it couldn't be helped, since Fred Lewis' two-run double that hiked the Giants' lead to 8-4 -- and dissolved the save situation -- occurred after Wilson had begun warming up.
Still, he said Tuesday, "I don't necessarily want to pitch to get my work in. I get my work in before the game. I play catch, I work on certain pitches. The only time I want to pitch is when the game's on the line."
Wilson, who entered Tuesday with a National League-high 19 saves, indicated that he doesn't necessarily stew on the sidelines when he doesn't appear for multiple days.
"It happens literally like that," he said, snapping his fingers. "I didn't realize I hadn't pitched in [three] days until somebody said so."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.