BOSTON -- What has made Orioles closer Jim Johnson so good? Well, let’s allow his manager and teammates explain the key to Johnson’s record-breaking season. Here’s what they have to say about Johnson, who set a new Orioles single-season saves mark with his 46th save.
Manager Buck Showalter
"He's a pitcher, not a thrower, with good stuff. He's really good. And Jimmy's got a lot of challenges he had behind him. No where along the line did he cheat the process. When Jimmy goes out there on a given day when he's not carrying a certain pitch, he's got three weapons. And when he's feeling really good like he was early in the season, not that he's feeling bad now, he could go out there and pitch with his fastball. But if he and Matt see somebody speeding up, he'll slow them down with a couple other pitches. He's got weapons and he's not going to just go there and be a thrower. Jimmy's a pitcher who's a closer."
Catcher Matt Wieters
“He’s been the best in the league, that’s how we feel in this clubhouse. Anytime we can get him the ball we feel pretty good about what kind of job we are going to get. … One, he’s smart. He’s able to use different pitchers as a closer and on top of that he’s able to locate with a power sinker. I put his sinker up there with anybody in the game. To be able to throw 95-96 with the movement he has, it’s a special pitch.”
Pitcher Miguel Gonzalez
"[He’s] aggressive. His sinker is real good. He's not afraid to pitch."
Johnson explaining his own success
“Getting into the routine. From the get go, I just kind of fell into it and I didn’t look back. I think just being shortsighted and I know the cliché you guys hate to talk about is one game at a time but that’s it. You don’t want to look too far ahead and get caught up with this and that. Just kind of going with the flow of things and staying even the whole way through.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun