DETROIT -- Sergio Romo fired slider after slider at Detroit's Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, slyly setting up the final pitch of an unforgettable Giants season.

After five consecutive sliders, which the closer already had used to strike out the first two batters in the 10th inning, catcher Buster Posey called for one more against Cabrera, who earlier had kept the Detroit Tigers afloat with a two-run homer off starter Matt Cain.

But Romo shook his head. He wanted to throw the pitch nobody ever believed he could throw effectively -- the heater -- and Posey just followed along.

Then Romo tossed it, a beauty, right down the middle but such an absolute laser-shock to perhaps the best pure hitter in the game that he, too, was left frozen in time in the Giants' ultimate 2012 moment -- a called strike three to win the World Series.

"That guy," said Posey, shaking his head with disbelief of Romo's final-pitch decision in the 4-3 Game 4 victory. "He shook to a fastball there, and it shows you what type of guts he has and the faith in what he's got."

The source of that faith, Romo said, were his teammates.

"They relied on me. They had confidence in me all year. They knew I needed the faith they had in me." he said. "I couldn't let 'em down. I couldn't let anybody down, especially anybody in the orange and black."


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Romo saved three of the four games in the Giants' sweep. Relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and Romo combined to finish the series with an ERA of 0.00. Only George Kontos was scored on out of the bullpen -- two runs in Game 1 -- giving the relief staff a 1.54 ERA for the Series

Sunday night was their best performance. With the score tied 3-3, Affeldt and Casilla delivered two electric innings, and after the Giants scored in the top of the 10th, Romo dropped the final hammer on the Tigers.

Affeldt, after walking the leadoff man in the eighth, struck out the heart of the Tigers' order -- Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young -- and added Andy Dirks for a fourth consecutive strikeout in the ninth.

"I was commanding the zone with three pitches tonight, it just felt great out there," Affeldt said. "If you're going to have a night to have your best stuff, this was the night to have it."

But if Affeldt was terrific, Romo was downright filthy. He struck out leadoff man Austin Jackson and pinch-hitter Don Kelly with his slider. Cabrera who worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off a fifth pitch. Then came the capper.

"For a guy to get those last three outs, I don't care who you are, that's really hard to do," Affeldt said. "And he did it in unbelievable fashion. What an amazing, amazing deal striking out the side. You can't do it any better than that."

Manager Bruce Bochy said: "Sergio, he's a guy you want out there. ... He just knew that Cabrera was looking for a slider, and he commands the fastball so well, he just located it."

Pitching coach Dave Righetti said: "There's really nobody like him. That was Rod Beck-like. That was Mariano Rivera-like, a guy with total belief in what he is doing out there."

Romo and other members of the bullpen stepped into the breach when closer Brian Wilson was lost for the season with an elbow injury. Giants general manager Brian Sabean braced for the possibility by keeping the core group together.

"Santiago Casilla saved us in the first half of the season with so many big saves, and when he faltered, Romo became the guy," Sabean said. "I can't say enough about that young man. It is pretty amazing, because he didn't have a track record doing this."

He does now, and the picture will be frozen forever in Giants lore.

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