Jim Johnson blew nine saves for the Orioles last season. The O’s finished 6.5 games back in the Wild Card race.
Sure, plenty of things lead to team’s records, but there’s no question that JJ’s struggles last season contributed mightily to the Birds’ 85-77 record in 2013. A year later, a different guy in the ninth later, the Orioles are faced with similar problems.
Tommy Hunter just blew his third save of the season in a gut wrenching 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Hunter’s ERA has ballooned to 6.60 and he’s allowing almost two base runners per inning.
After the game, Buck Showalter wouldn’t answer directly whether he would remove Hunter from the ninth. He told reporters that he’ll make adjusted if they’re needed to stay competitive.
Fair enough. I think they are.
Buck explained it as a “robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario.” He couldn’t be more right about that. Many want to see Zach Britton take over the ninth, but he’s finally in a groove in his role. I would hate to mess with ZB’s mojo. Darren O’Day struggles against lefties, Brian Matusz struggles against righties, Ryan Webb hasn’t had much experience in that role, Preston Guilmet just got sent down.
They all have their flaws. All I know is, I wouldn’t let Hunter work out his issues in the ninth. Not after watching Johnson do that last year.