BALTIMORE – Jim Johnson has been a lightning rod for criticism this season. He’s become the fourth major league pitcher to save 100 saves over the past two seasons, but to go along with his 49 saves this season, there have been nine blown ones.
“I had a couple of bad weeks, but that’s the world I live in,” Johnson said. “I set the bar high for myself.”
Johnson began the season with 14 consecutive saves, blew four of his next five, converted 12 more before failing to convert on two of four.
He then had 10 more saves in succession before blowing three straight, including two in the disastrous three-game series in Arizona.
Since Aug. 14, he has 10 more successful saves though he did lose a game on Sept. 12.
Forty-nine saves after a major-league leading 51 last season.
“I think it was all right,” Johnson says of his season. “I think the actual truth was a combination between what you saw last year and this year. That’s pretty much what I am. Last year was a little tick up from what I’m capable of what it is expected. This year is maybe a tick down. In between those two years is probably what to expect.”
In 2012, Johnson blew just three saves, and the Orioles won two of those blown saves. This year, they lost eight of his nine blown saves. He won the ninth.
“I wish I was a little bit better a couple of days,” Johnson said. “I don’t regret anything. I prepared every way the same day.”
On Friday, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said that he planned to offer Johnson a contract for next year, dispelling the chatter he might not.
“Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking about it yet,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I want to be here, and I hope they want me here. I’d rather be part of the solution than part of the problem.”