Cue The Pretender.

Jim Johnson in the best closer in baseball right now. That’s not a question. It’s a statement.

Jim Johnson
Image Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Orioles righty earned his American League leading 12th save in the Orioles 4-3 victory over the Royals on Tuesday. On the same night, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel surrendered back-to-back home runs and earned a blown save and a loss to the Reds. On Monday, Rays closer Fernando Rodney gave up a game winning homer to J.P. Arencibia in the Blue Jays 8-7 comeback in Tampa Bay.

Opponents are hitting .186 against Johnson this season and he’s allowed just two earned runs over 17 innings pitched. Johnson is a perfect 12 for 12 in save opportunities on the season and hasn’t blown a save since July 27, 2012. That’s 42 consecutive appearances without a blown save.

A season ago, Johnson led all of baseball with 51 saves. He’s currently on pace for 59 (technically, 58.8).

JJ isn’t a traditional closer. He doesn’t rack up strikeouts and throw triple digits. He utilizes the defense behind him and throws three pitches with nasty movement.

Don’t question it though. It’s working more effectively than anything any other closer is doing right now.

About The Author

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.


  1. Jim Hunter was getting on my nerves last night talking about the fact that JJ last blew a save on 27 July 2012. Let it go, Jim. Don’t jinx him!

  2. Kimbrel & Rodney still had better 2012’s…..and JJ blew 2 saves in the post season.

    He’s one of the best…not THE best.

    • My bad, how many games did Kimbrel pitch in the post season last year…1. How many did Rodney pitch in….0.

      Enough said.

      • The point is incher that JJ choked under pressure,,,,,,,,,,,,,,until he proves he will not choke he can’t be the best,,,,,,,,,,,,it’s hard to pitch with two hands around your throat,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  3. […] Jim Johnson may be baseball’s best closer. [Baltimore Sports Report] […]

  4. It’s not hard to pitch with two hands around your throat when you have a 9 inch throat….

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