Similarly, when one might think of a shut down closer, they probably think of a pitcher who comes into the ninth and sends several guys down in order. Tommy Hunter is almost that guy, but he really is not. Before injuries prevented him from pitching and with a resurgent Zach Britton likely preventing a return back to a closer role, Hunter performed admirably well for the Orioles. However, the reality of his play was enjoyable, but heart attack inducing...which is also similar to a diet consisting solely of Country Style Breakfasts. Hunter had a habit of pitching quite poorly with the bases empty, but turning it up a notch when a runner was on base.
Jordan Ellenberg explored this in a post over at his blog Quomodocumque. He is the money table from that article with OPS of Runners in Scoring Position in bold and Total Overall OPS residing to the right of that number.
The list looks interesting, but I was wondering whether or not Hunter was being hurt here by his time as a starter. One of the talking points has been that part of Hunter's bullpen emergence has been due to him no longer having to rely on a windup that had been problematic. To test this out, I looked at 2013 and 2014 to see how things stacked up with him being a strict reliever. The data set included pitchers from that time period who had fewer than five starts and more than 45 outs with men on base.
Here is the top 40:
Hunter comes in on this table at number 33. Above him you find several closers as well as brand new Norfolk Tides pitcher, Heath Bell. In other words, it appears quite a few pitchers are clamping down when they find themselves in rough situations.