As we all know, Jim Johnson saved 51 games, and blew 3 saves. Here are a few random facts:
- The Orioles won 2 of 3 games where Johnson blew the save. Johnson was the winning pitcher in one of them
- Johnson saved his first 17 without a blown save, extending a streak that began in 2011 to 25 saves without a blown save. This was the second longest such streak in Orioles' history, behind only Randall K. Myers' 34 straight in 1997.
- Johnson closed the year with 21 consecutive saves without a blown save. That was the third-longest such streak in Orioles' history (second-longest in a single season).
- Johnson's ERA in save situations was 0.92.
- In the first 83 games of the year (37 appearances), Johnson had an ERA of 1.21.
- In the final 62 games of the year (26 appearances), Johnson had an ERA of 0.36. (This does not include the postseason.)
- In 18 of Johnson's saves, he entered the game with a 1-run lead. He had 27 2-run saves, and only 6 3-run saves. He blew one 1-run lead, 1 2-run lead, and 1 3-run lead.
- Johnson saved 7 games in 7 opportunities in extra innings.
Gregg's mix of save opportunities (19 one run games, 28 two run games, 7 three run games is interesting. Last year I did a little study of 10 AL closers who had saved at least 20 games (excluding Kevin Gregg) and I found that:
- 43% of their save opportunities were one-run games, and they succeeded only 75% of the time in that situation.
- 32% of their save opportunities were two-run games, and they succeeded 91% of the time in that situation.
- 25% of their save opportunities were two-run games, and they succeeded 98% of the time in that situation.
So, JJ had fewer one-run save opportunities than one would have expected, but his 95% success rate in those opportunities was truly outstanding. His 96% success rate in two-run save situations also was outstanding. JJ had very few 3-run saves compared to the average closer, and the fact that he blew one is surprising, considering the league-wide 98% success rate in those situations.
For what it's worth, the 15 pitchers who had the most saves in the AL for 2012 saved the game in 89% of their opportunities, compared to 94% for JJ. By that measure, JJ saved 3 more games that an average closer would have in the same number of opportunities. But, if you weight his saves by difficulty (i.e., how big a lead he was protecting), them he saved 4-5 more than the average closer would have.
Pretty darned impressive.
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