Wilson remains fearless despite homer
Giants closer maintains confidence after blown save
PHILADELPHIA -- The numbers he's compiled speak for themselves: Brian Wilson has amassed a nice resume so far in his first season as a closer. The Giants right-handed pitcher suffered his first real setback Friday night, when he gave up a two-run homer to Pat Burrell in the 10th inning of a 6-5 Phillies victory.The National League co-leader in saves (nine) has one response to that. "I want the ball in my hands again, in the same situation, and I'll throw the same pitch," Wilson said. "I think it is a matter of faith and confidence that you have to have in yourself." The Giants have slid out of an early-season funk, in which they lost six of their first seven games. But Wilson has emerged as a reason why the Giants have a 12-11 record since then. His nine saves lead the National League (with Arizona's Brandon Lyon, Milwaukee's Eric Gagne and St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen). Until Friday night's loss, Wilson had successfully converted eight straight save opportunities. He was one strike away from going 10-for-11 in converted chances. What makes Wilson something special is his attitude. He didn't dwell on what happened. He wanted the situation to arise again -- so he could stomp it out. It's just part of his makeup. "I don't expect to be mediocre," Wilson said. "The homer Friday night was unacceptable. It's something I plan to fix. I knew what I did wrong against Burrell. My ball was cutting on me, and the pitch he hit the home run off leaked out over the plate. Otherwise, I thought I did pretty well. I battled back from a 3-0 count to make it 3-2. I wanted to go right at him with the fastball again." But Wilson also has an attitude Giants manager Bruce Bochy certainly likes. Wilson refuses to be shaken. "That's what we want, too," Bochy said. "It's the tough life of a closer. They hit the occasional bumps in the road; like a field-goal kicker in football, the game rests on them. The team puts them in a position to win the game. Closers deal with a lot of pressure. But they need short memories." Wilson doesn't seem to be the type who likes to forget. "I want the ball back in my hands again; I want the ball in my hands the next 130 games we play," Wilson said. "I'll throw the same pitch again -- just not over the plate like I did before."
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.