Jim Johnson’s impressive regular season saves streak came to an end at 35 on Tuesday night when he allowed four singles and two runs in the ninth in the Orioles’ 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Johnson hadn’t blown a regular season save since he gave up six runs in one third of an inning to the Oakland A’s on July 27, 2012. He did blow one in the postseason – Game 3 of the ALDS in New York on Oct. 10 – but that didn’t count toward the streak.
Point is Johnson has been unbelievably good for the last year-plus, and so when he blows one it is newsworthy.
“It’s fun to go out there and watch Jim pitch every night,” said Tuesday’s starter Chris Tillman. “He is great at what he does and it is what it is. I think everybody knows how good he is and that’s why everyone is saying it’s unusual, because of that, because he is so good.”
Said Showalter: “Jimmy is remarkable. He's as solid as they come. And I just went by him up there and he's grinding out on a bicycle getting ready for tomorrow. He's got a strong mentality and we're real lucky to have him. It's an honor to watch him pitch and I look forward to hopefully getting a chance to watch him tomorrow.”
Johnson, as always when he doesn’t pitch well, was at his locker post-game answering questions.
“We didn't win,” Johnson said. “I just made a couple bad pitches and they put good swings on the ball. We were close. Needed one more pitch to find a way out of it.”
Johnson wasn’t exactly beaten around on Tuesday; he gave up four singles for the two runs and induced a double play ball. He had allowed just two earned runs in 19 games this season before Tuesday night. But the bottom line is he didn’t get the job done.
“When I blow a game, it's usually in the same fashion, hits through here and there,” Johnson said. “I made them work for it, that's the only benefit I guess.”
In case you were wondering, Johnson wasn’t distraught that his club-record streak was over. He’s been as consistent with shrugging off that accolade as he has been on the mound.
"I really didn't put a whole of stock into it,” he said. “It was just something you guys like to talk about. But, like everybody said, we'll start something new tomorrow.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun