SAN FRANCISCO -- Jean Machi has become the Giants' early-season good luck charm.
Machi recorded his team-high third victory in San Francisco's 2-1 triumph Wednesday night over the Los Angeles Dodgers. If that seems like a lot of wins for a reliever, it is. Machi became the first Giants pitcher since Bob Shaw in 1964 to post that many relief victories 15 games into the season.
Relief wins often result from fortunate timing, since the pitcher's team has to score during the relatively short duration of his appearance. It also can reflect quality of performance to some degree, since the reliever must prevent an opponent from jumping ahead in the score.
"He's getting in tight ballgames," manager Bruce Bochy said, analyzing Machi's glittering 3-0 record entering Thursday. "We have the confidence to put him out there. It shows that he's holding the [opponent] at bay and giving us a chance to win."
Bochy nevertheless acknowledged that wins are far from the most reliable barometer of a reliever's quality.
"It's not a number we look at as much as holds or saves," Bochy said.
Stu Miller (14-5, 1961) and Frank Linzy (14-9, 1969) share the San Francisco-era franchise record for relief wins in a single season. The last Giant to reach double figures in relief wins was Joe Nathan (12-4, 2003).