Brian Wilson finally showed his stuff.
The Giants' colorful closer, who was highly visible on national talk shows in the offseason and twice got hurt in spring training, got off to a brutal start with two subpar performances, including a blown save opportunity against the Cardinals in the home opener.
But Tuesday, Wilson was back. It was the Wilson who led the majors in saves in 2010 and was virtually unhittable in the postseason. Overcoming lower back and oblique injuries -- the latter sending him to the disabled list to start the season -- Wilson had command, stuff and velocity during his 1-2-3 ninth inning, preserving a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers.
"He's had three days off, and now it looks like he's back where he needs to be," manager Bruce Bochy said. "For the psyche of the club and for (Wilson), that was huge."
Considering the Giants were coming off consecutive 6-1 losses, Tuesday's game served as a refreshing reminder that Wilson is an elite closer. All three outs were strikeouts. He fanned Xavier Paul, looking at a cutter, and retired Tony Gwynn Jr. and Jamey Carroll on swing-and-miss sliders.
Through it all, Wilson showed much better control and amped his fastball up to 97 mph. His ERA dipped to a far more respectable 19.29, too.
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