After the longest regular season saves streak in Orioles history had come to an end tonight, Jim Johnson said it was pretty simple. It was matter of not executing pitches in the top of the ninth when San Diego scored twice against him to come back and beat the Orioles 3-2.
“It was location,” Johnson said. “As soon as I got off the field, I went and looked (at the video). Pitches were in different spots than they are normally at. It’s about execution. At this level, the talent is too good. You have to execute. Tonight, I didn’t and wasted a good effort from a lot of guys on the team.”
The Padres came up with four singles in the ninth against Johnson, whose last blown save in the regular season was last July 27 at Camden Yards against Oakland.
Tuesday night’s blown save ended his streak at 35 straight, one better than Randy Myers’ previous club record of 34, set during the 1997 season.
“Just made a couple bad pitches and they put a couple good swings on the ball. We were close, needed one more pitch. Give them credit. They did what they are supposed to do,” Johnson said.
“I really didn’t put a whole lot of stock into it (the saves streak). It was something you guys like to talk about. Hope to start something new tomorrow.”
A reporter asked Johnson if he was proud of his team record streak.
“I’m proud of what the team has accomplished. When I blow a game, it is usually in the same fashion. Hits through here and there,” he said after his ERA rose from 0.95 to 1.80.
Ryan Flaherty, batting just .131 at game time, hit a solo homer, lined into a double play and walked. It was his first homer since April 13.
“I feel like I’ve had some better at-bats. I’ve got to help this team but, yeah, in the last week or so I’ve had some better at-bats. You know I changed a couple of things, but a lot of it is mental. Get a couple to start falling and try to get this thing going,” he said.
Chris Tillman did not get a decision tonight, allowing four hits and one run over seven innings.
“Had a little struggles early, but got on track in the middle of the game,” Tillman said. “Kind of just rode with (Matt) Wieters there, he did a good job of getting me back in that thing. Glad I found it there in the middle.”
Tillman said the solo homer he gave up to Carlos Quentin was on a pitch where he missed his location, but he still recorded his fifth consecutive quality start. He has an ERA of 1.87 and batting average against of .195 over those five starts.
He said he’s made some good in-game adjustments during this stretch.
“It is encouraging,” he said. “In the early part of the season, I struggled with that a little. Being able to make adjustments is probably the biggest jump between Triple-A and the big leagues. Being able to make them now rather than in between starts.”