Johnson on his fifth blown save
Orioles closer Jim Johnson didn’t wait for a question after the Orioles’ 4-3 loss on Wednesday night. Instead, the right-hander wasted no time calling himself out for the opening four-pitch walk that helped Cleveland score a pair of runs in his fifth blown save of the season.
“The leadoff walk. Obviously, that’s pretty much what led to the whole inning,” Johnson said of the free pass to Michael Brantely. “Lately … it’s uncharacteristic, it’s something I need to work on.”
Johnson, who blew four of five games in a rough stretch in May, had converted 12 in a row when he took the mound on Wednesday and had allowed one earned run over that 14-game stretch. Following the leadoff walk, he put himself in a tight spot, allowing the Indians to load the bases.
“I leave a ball up to [Jason] Giambi on the next pitch after the four-pitch walk. Now you’ve got second and third and you have to walk the next guy,” Johnson said. “So you have bases loaded and nobody out. it doesn’t get much worse. At that point, I’m trying to limit the damage, I’m trying to worry about each individual pitch. I came real close to keeping it tied. But obviously I dug myself my own hole. [Starter Jason] Hammel did a great job tonight and it takes away from his pitching performance. On both sides. It kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”
“Like I said, that whole inning started with that four-pitch walk. Been walking too many guys this year. I’m not going to shy away from saying it, so I need to do better with that part.”