A Loss, Johnson and Tillman

Last night, Baltimore pitcher Jim Johnson blew a save and his team lost to the San Diego Padres, 3-2. Johnson had converted 35 consecutive save chances before Tuesday night.

Well, the Baltimore Orioles lost last night to the San Diego Padres, 3-2, in a thrilling game that didn’t end very well.

They rallied in the eighth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie, thanks to a stolen base and heads-up base running by Alexi Casilla, followed by an RBI single from Steve Pearce.

Baltimore was stifled for much of the night by San Diego starter Andrew Cashner; however, it looked like that they were perhaps headed for another win as Jim Johnson took the mound in the ninth inning.

I did not realize this, but Jim Johnson had 35 consecutive saves heading into Tuesday night. Johnson’s feat is a team record and we all know that he had been a rock at the end of the game for the past several seasons.

Although his performance in game three of year’s ALDS was a night to forget, he has been reliable – until last night. Everyone knows that the closing profession in baseball is volatile one and his number came up.

It happens to everyone.

He would take the loss last night and give up two runs against San Diego in the ninth inning. He just gave up hit after hit and it just was not Johnson’s night. Every hit San Diego earned off the closer were pretty much all singles, not hard hit liners, or bombs over the wall.

Johnson’s trademark sinker was working – sort of; sadly, the Padres got the hits through holes in the field and the defense just could not do anything about it.

Johnson will look ahead and forget what happened like last every closer seems to do when they blow a game; however, despite the lack of national attention, Johnson has become one of the premier closers in the game.

He does not have the gaudy strikeouts like some other relievers and pitches to contact; however, Johnson gets the job done.

Pitcher Chris Tillman #30 of the Baltimore Orioles works the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 17, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.

On a side note, you’ve got to be impressed with Chris Tillman. It looked early on as if he was going to throw a clunker, especially in the first three innings. He got his pitch count up there and I was worried that the bullpen would need to be called before the fifth.

Tillman would calm down and go seven strong innings. He seemed to make adjustments in the final three frames that were pitched on the night and looked like an ace.

Overall, Tillman made last night’s contest into a pitching duel and the Orioles need more nights like that from him.