Excitement filled Baltimore Orioles fans everywhere in 2012 as the team made the postseason for the first time since 1997 and also ended their long stretch of losing seasons. Today we are at number four on our list, the Orioles amount of blown saves.
Baltimore finished the with a 85-77 record for their second consecutive winning season, but fell short of a playoff spot by six games.
Coming into 2013, expectations, although perhaps too high, were just that for this season's team, so what went wrong?
#4 Blown Saves
Some fans out there may be surprised to see the blown saves issue at number four, and not number one, but as frustrating as blown saves are, they were just not as vital to the Orioles missing the postseason as our top three.
Baltimore finished the season with the third most blown saves, 27, in all of baseball and trailed just the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros who each had 29 blown saves. The league average for blown saves in 2013 was 19.
Jim Johnson, who tied for the MLB lead with 50 saves, is the first person who comes to mind when you hear Orioles blown saves, and rightfully so. Johnson, who had one of the best seasons for a closer in 2012, was being counted on to be that shutdown guy in the ninth inning he showed he could be. Unfortunately for the Orioles and Johnson, he had a couple of rough stretches throughout the course of the season and wound up with eight losses and nine blown saves. So yes, Johnson was responsible for one third of the blown saves the Orioles suffered this season, but that still leaves 18 more.
Here is how the remaining blown saves breakdown for the rest of the pitching staff: Brian Matusz (4), Darren O'Day (4), Pedro Strop (3), Kevin Gausman (2), Tommy Hunter (2), Luis Ayala (1), Troy Patton (1), and Josh Stinson (1).
It is important to remember that a save situation can occur as early as the seventh inning, so if you are scratching your head wondering when these guys pitched in the ninth, STOP, no need to draw blood out of frustration. We kid, but the issue is still there, Baltimore blew too many save opportunities this season and it came back to haunt them.
Want to know why this only comes in at number four on our list? The Boston Red Sox finished the season with the best record in the American League, but finished fifth in all of baseball with 24 blown saves, thus a team can rebound from these when it happens.
Blown Saves come in at number four on our list of the five reasons the Orioles missed the playoffs, should it have been higher? Lower? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
Five Reasons the Orioles missed the Playoffs
- #5 Record vs AL East
- #4 Blown Saves
- #3 Check back later today
- #2 Coming Friday
- #1 Coming Friday
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