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).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.