SAN DIEGO -- Sergio Romo gave himself a hard act to follow with his remarkable 2011 performance. But the Giants right-hander has approached the excellence he sustained a year ago. Romo owns a 4-2 record, a 1.82 ERA and a 0.865 WHIP (average walks and hits per inning) in 68 appearances, matching a career high. Last year, he was 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.708 WHIP in 65 games. He walked only five batters in 48 innings last year, compared to 10 in 53 1/3 innings this year. But while Romo recorded only one save last year, he has converted 13 of 14 save opportunities this season, including his stint in Sunday's 7-5 victory over San Diego. He has displayed increasing effectiveness, allowing just two runs in his last 20 appearances -- a span of 16 2/3 innings -- and issuing zero walks in his last 27 outings (22 1/3 innings).
"I'm feeling that I'm competing as well as I can," Romo said. "I've been going out there with the mindset that the team believes in me and needs me to be good."