Sergio Romo hits the big leagues
Sports top ten story No. 07
Sergio Romo is one of those guys who makes his mark quickly.
He spent only one year at Mesa State College, but made the most of it, going 14-1 in 2005 and coming thisclose to throwing a no-hitter in the first round of the NCAA regional playoffs before settling for a two-hitter.
After his All-American season, he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and worked his way up in the minor leagues, going 24-5. In only 31/2 seasons’ time, the 5-foot-11 right-hander threw 2711/3 innings, allowing 208 hits, 52 walks and 303 strikeouts with a minor league ERA of 2.39.
He got the call to the big leagues on July 24, joining the Giants from Class AA Connecticut on a road trip in Cleveland.
Romo’s rise to the big leagues was voted the No. 7 sports story in 2008 by The Daily Sentinel newsroom staff.
It took a couple of days after being called up for Romo to make his debut, but once he got on the mound, he wasted no time.
On June 26, Romo pitched a perfect eighth inning against the Indians, striking out two of the three batters he faced. His father, Frank, a couple of family friends, his uncle and his high school coach were in the stands. His college coach, Chris Hanks, attended the first two games of the series, but his flight left earlier the day of Romo’s debut.
“It was everything I thought it would be, except not throwing strike one (to the first big-leaguer he faced),” Romo told MLB.com. “I always imagined I’d paint the first one.”
He painted enough corners to go 3-1 for the Giants with a 2.12 ERA, appearing in 29 games.
He allowed 13 runs, 8 earned, giving up 16 hits. He walked only eight in 34 innings and struck out 33.
That performance was enough to put Romo on the active roster and he’ll compete to be the Giants’ setup man in 2009.
In the meantime, Romo is staying close to home, but on the mound.
He’s spending the winter playing in the Mexican Pacific League with the Mexicali Eagles on the border of Mexico and California. It’s only 15 minutes from his home in Brawley, Calif.
He has a 2.70 ERA for the Eagles, appearing in 15 games, with seven saves. He’s still striking out batters — 20 compared to only two walks entering the Eagles’ game Christmas night.
Romo told mlb.com that he used to go to Mexicali to play baseball when he was a youngster, and hopes to be selected to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic next year. Romo’s parents are Mexican, which would allow him to play for Mexico in the Classic.