Brian Johnson made his debut last night and finished the game with a loss, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB and a 8.31 ERA. Obviously it is a extremely slow sample size, but some people may say that Brian Johnson had a horrible debut. However, this wasn't the case.
The 24-year-old southpaw was just a victim of the 2015 Red Sox.
The first Major League batter Johnson faced was Jose Altuve, and he walked him. Altuve stole second base and was driven to 3rd base by a single from Marwin Gonzalez. Carlos Correa hit a sac fly that brought Altuve home, but from that moment on Johnson settled down. Command tended to be an issue for him since 20 of his first 42 pitches missed the strike zone but it wasn't something that caused a lot of trouble. He held Houston hitless for the next three innings and struck out the side in the third.
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Trouble came in the fifth when he allowed back-to-back singles to Chris Carter and L.J. Joes. Jake Marisnick grounded into a forceout that sent Carter to 3rd and Joes was out at second. With runners at the corners and one out, Marisnkick stole second base. Ryan Hanigan tried to get him out, but his throw hit Marisnick in the helmet and the ball went to left-field. Carter and Marisnick scored and the game was tied. Johnson got nervous and his command issues came back as he issued a walk to Altuve. The second baseman was the last batter he faced after being replaced by well, Justin Masterson. Masterson hit Gonzalez, allowed a double to Correa and Houston took the lead on a game that was in pace to be an excellent debut to another Red Sox pitching prospect.
As I told you before, it was not Johnson's fault. Let's say that Hanigan caught Marisnick stealing second and Johnsons dind't get nervous so Altuve hit a fly to center field. Probably the rookie would have been replaced in the next inning, but the Red Sox would still have the lead. Maybe Masterson would still allow another three or four runs, but Johnson's numbers would have been better.
I know that baseball is a game where you can't say "what if" and base your conclusions on that, but when a catcher's throw hits someone in the helmet you have to maybe make an excuse. Let's give this guy another chance and see what he can actually do. After all, the Red Sox are 10 games below .500. Being patient with a rookie that is taking Clay Buchholz' spot in the rotation won't hurt.
Do you think that Johnson's next start will show how talented he really is? Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and once you're there, follow me at @iamjorgecamargo. Jorge Camargo 7/22/2015 07:30:00 AM Tweet