A few weeks ago, the Twitter universe was demanding the Orioles do something about Jim Johnson. He had just blown his sixth save of the season, and fans thought that Tommy Hunter would be a better choice.
Manager Buck Showalter knew that Johnson would be the best choice as closer. Hunter, he knew, wasn’t strong enough to close on three successive days as Johnson could.
Hunter has been terrific most of the season, but in his last three appearances, he’s been scored upon. On Saturday night, Hunter allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings to allow Texas to get back in a presumably one-sided game.
He’s given up six runs in his last 3 1/3 innings.
One thing that Hunter has done well despite giving up some runs is not surrendering home runs. He’s given up just two home runs in his last 22 appearances. Adam Dunn’s ninth-inning home run on July 4 beat Hunter.
Johnson has saved his last six games since that blown save on July 5, but he’s made it exciting, allowing hits in four of those games.
Of course, Johnson will remain as the closer, and for now, Hunter will try to get back on track.