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Jim Johnson is having an incredible season, too

Oct 2, 2012, 10:05 PM EDT

Jim Johnson, Matt Wieters Getty Images

Baltimore’s surprising closer has been overshadowed by Tampa Bay’s surprising closer, but Jim Johnson notched his 51st save Tuesday in the 1-0 win over the Rays.

That moves Johnson into a tie for ninth place on the all-time single-season saves list with Dennis Eckersley (1992) and Rod Beck (1998). He’s the first closer to save 50 games since the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez broke the major league record with 62 in 2008.

Of course, Johnson does things a bit differently than most closers. He has just 41 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings this season. The 11 other pitchers with 50-save seasons had strikeout totals ranging from 66 (Mariano Rivera, 2004) to 137 (Eric Gagne, 2003).

With 51 saves and 41 strikeouts, Johnson will be the 13th pitcher ever to finish with 30 saves and at least as many saves as strikeouts. Todd Jones did it in back-to-back years in 2006-07 (and had 18 saves and 14 strikeouts in 2008). Danny Kolb is the only closer to have a more extreme split than Johnson here; he had 39 saves and 21 strikeouts for the Brewers in 2004.

  1. Loose Changeup - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    High GB% pitchers are the new market inefficiency

    • dondada10 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      You gotta have the gloves to support him. That’s why true-result pitchers (k/9) are always preferred.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:09 PM

        But strikeouts are fascist.

      • Loose Changeup - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        Preferred, meaning higher cost though. And wormkillers tend to give up less HR.

  2. rockthered1286 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Considering the amount of 1-run games JJ has closed out without a single loss, he deserves more credit than he’s been given.

    Also take this into consideration: JJ had one bad outing all season. Relief in a blowout game where he was allegedly working on his secondary pitches. If you take that one outing (I believe 1/3 inning 5ER) out of the equation he’d have quite the flawless resume this year.

    Unlike Bailey who slowly screwed the O’s tonight… Jerk.

    • maximus929 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:49 PM

      Johnson had 2 bad outings for us… one in a blowout you referred to and one blown save – 1/3 inning 6ER’s.

      You are spot on about all the 1 run and 2 run saves. Far more than most pitchers.

      Also he has given up exactly 1 run since JULY!!!

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