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