Johnson's Bad Outing Not So Much Of An Anomaly Lately
Six -- that's the remarkable number of runs Jim Johnson allowed during the ninth inning of Friday night's 14-9 loss to the Athletics.
The Orioles can't afford losses to wild-card competitors such as the Athletics, and Johnson's performance was a real fumble. After his abysmal performance, Johnson sounded like a closer by calling it an anomaly.
You can't have a pitcher detached from reality, but at the same time, Johnson's confidence is mostly warranted. Johnson was dominant during the first three months of the season, and has successfully converted 30 of 33 save opportunities. His ERA was 1.21 before the All-Star break.
Since he pitched in the All-Star Game, Johnson's ERA has been 18.47, and he's allowed 13 earned runs. Nearly half of those came last night. Still, it's alarming to see his ERA now at 3.71.
Has Johnson lost it lately? It's worth asking if you're outside the club. If you're manager Buck Showalter, you don't ever share that thought. Showalter has placed his confidence in Johnson and treated him like a premier closer. The entire club's confidence has been shaken lately, and it would get worse if Johnson joined them. There's too much riding on him during this playoff chase.
Posted July 28, 2012