Jim Johnson joins very small club

Greg Fiume

Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, Jim Johnson gave up a run to the Red Sox but still earned the save. Which was particularly significant because it was his 50th save of the season. Which means he's done something that very, very few other pitchers have done. Details, via Bill Baer:

Johnson joins Eric Gagne and Mariano Rivera as the only relievers to have a pair of 50-save campaigns. No one has more. Only eight other relievers even have a one. Like Gagne, Johnson got his 50-save seasons consecutively.

Johnson had an up-and-down year. At times, he looked like the dominant closer that breathed new life into an Orioles team last year. At other times, like the two-week stretch in May in which he posted a 21.60 ERA in six appearances, he appeared to be throwing beach balls from 60 feet, six inches. But all’s well that ends well, as he ends the season with a sub-3.00 ERA, having converted 11 consecutive save opportunities.

Yeah. Let's give some credit to Buck Showalter for not panicking, as I'm sure a fair number of people in Baltimore were screaming for Johnson's head during that rough patch in May. From the 29th of May through the end of the season, Johnson converted 35 of 40 save opportunities while posting a 1.75 ERA.

Of course, his save percentage wasn't nearly as good this year as last year. But his strikeout-to-walk ratio was actually better, as he bumped his strikeouts some. Superficially, the biggest difference this year was more hits allowed, but that was largely due to a dramatic turn of Johnson's luck. Last year he gave up a .252 batting average on balls in play; this year it was .330.

He's the same guy, though: a good-but-not-great closer, perfectly adequate for the job at hand. And again, I admire Buck Showalter and the rest of the management team for not overreacting to a few bad outings.

It's just too bad they weren't so patient with Pedro Strop.

For much more about the Orioles, please visit SB Nation's Camden Chat.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.