DENVER (AP) — As strange as this may sound for a reliever, Brian Wilson actually finds comfort in chaos.
The hairier the situation, the more the San Francisco closer with the distinctive black beard bears down.
Wilson worked his way into a very sticky situation on Thursday, only to escape with his first save of the season in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.
The adventurous 32-pitch final inning was just another day on the mound for the reliever who always seems to load the bases before going to work.
"It's not like I want to pitch in that situation," Wilson said. "But when I do, I feel like I've been more successful than not."
The starters have come to trust that everything will turn out all right.
After pitching a gem, Madison Bumgarner retired to the clubhouse to watch the final outs on the flat screen. Even when the Rockies scored a run off Wilson and had the bases loaded, Bumgarner never felt his win was in jeopardy.
"I wasn't nervous at all," said Bumgarner, who held the Rockies to four hits and a run over 7 1-3 innings. "He's been in that situation plenty of times and knows how to get out of it."
Wilson's outing got off to an inauspicious start when he surrendered a double to Troy Tulowitzki and a single to Michael Cuddyer. A one-out single from pinch hitter Jason Giambi loaded the bases.
After all, this is Wilson, who led the league in saves when the Giants won the World Series in 2010.
Even his manager expects a little drama before the final out is recorded.
"It's Willy's way," Bruce Bochy said.
But this seemed a little different. Wilson appeared to tweak his left ankle midway through the inning when he planted his foot on a pitch.
The trainers came out to check on him and Wilson quickly brushed them away.
After a warmup toss, he proclaimed himself good to go and then walked Tyler Colvin to bring in a run.
That prompted another visit from Bochy.
With two outs and the tying run on second, Wilson got Marco Scutaro to fly out to right.
See, no problems.
"I was able to preserve the win," Wilson said. "It was nice to get that first 'pressure' situation out of the way. Not that any game is different, or any game has more pressure than any other. But it's nice to get the first one under your belt."
Especially given the way Bumgarner (1-1) threw against the Rockies. The left-hander took a no-hitter in the sixth, before Colvin broke it up with a one-out triple.
He was going up against ageless wonder Jamie Moyer (0-2), who made his major league debut before Bumgarner was even born.
The age difference of 26 years and 256 days between Moyer and Bumgarner was the largest gap since Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Athletics faced Boston's Bill Monbouquette on Sept. 25, 1965, and the third-largest since 1900, according to STATS LLC.
"That's pretty crazy," Bumgarner said.
Bumgarner resembled a younger version of Moyer as he attempted to hit his spots instead of overpowering batters.
"The story today is Bumgarner's great start," Wilson said. "He was able to come back in the second start and look like the dominating pitcher that he is. He did a great job pounding the zone and giving our team the best chance to win."
Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez bridged the gap to Wilson, who opened the door a crack for the Rockies before slamming it shut.
"He's going to get sharper and sharper as the year goes on," Giambi said. "I saw him yesterday in the weight room and he just said he hasn't had a lot of innings and he's building up his arm strength. But that's the kind of guy you want to close out games."
After a 2-4 road swing, the Giants head back to San Francisco for the home opener on Friday against Pittsburgh.
"It will be nice to come home," Wilson said. "We're just going to go into it and take in all the special moments and then play a nice nine-inning ballgame. We'll go from there. We feed off the energy in San Francisco. It will be nice to play in front of all Giants fans."
NOTES: Giants C Buster Posey made his first start since coming down with shingles on Sunday night. ... On Friday, Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio (0-0) makes his first start at Coors Field since Aug. 5, when a line drive off the bat of Washington's Ian Desmond left him with a fractured skull and broken neck. He'll face Arizona's Daniel Hudson (1-0).