Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Johnson Disappoints in Athletics Opening Day

The Oakland Athletics started off the season with a very disappointing loss. The Athletics pitching had gone 8 straight shut out innings, going inning for inning against the Indians. Guys like Cespedes and Reddick fizzled and didn’t get hits. The only offensive contributions came from Daric Barton and John Jaso. they got hits and walks tonight.

The ninth inning came and the new closer, Jim Johnson came in the game. Time to see what Balfour’s replacement can do. He can give up runs, that’s what he can do. He walked the first batter, then gave up a single, and when he was one strike away from an out, he hits him with a pitch instead to load the bases. 1 sac fly later, and the Indians score. Then, instead of putting a stop to the bleeding, he gave up another single and another run. the Indians went on to win 2-0.

In his Spring outings, he didn’t do so well either. He stepped on Josh Donaldson‘s foot in his first outing, and turned a foul ball into a hit by getting the ball instead letting it roll foul. He has not been pitching like a closer, and I as fan worry when he is on the mound. We pay the guy 10 million dollars to pitch one inning a game, every few games. I know it’s the first game of the season, but based on his Spring performances and his performance tonight, I don’t feel safe with him on the mound.

I’ve even made a case that Dan Otero should be the closer. He has experience in that role and he posted a 1.38 ERA last season. He didn’t allow a single home run. Read it here. Johnson is not close material right now. Jim Johnson may have had 101 saves in the past two seasons, but he had 9 blown ones alone last season, a major league high.

The offense is to blame as well, but if the closer did his job, the Athletics could have lived to fight another inning. Overall this was a very disappointing Opening Day. Again. Losing is never easy to take. All I can say is that I hope they get their gears going fast, because April is important. Very important. Shake it off and get that win tomorrow boys, Athletics fans deserve it after having 8 straight opening night losses.

Tags: Jim Johnson Oakland Athletics

  • Ron_Lichtinger

    Get used to it, A’s fans – but I can’t say that you could not have seen it coming. Jim Johnson performed this way in nearly every game he pitched for the O’s last year. Sure, “he had a lot of saves” – but If he took the mound with a 3-run lead, you could expect him to give up two runs, then load-up the bases before his teammates bailed him out. In reality, he could have easily blown more games than his record shows.

  • tntoriole

    Yes, Jim is someone that basically blew way too many saves last year and gave us Orioles fans a lot of heartburn. Although if it makes you feel any better, Jemile Weeks didn’t even make the team and is at Norfolk Triple AAA.

  • Montay23

    As an O’s fan, I would echo the comments of the other O’s fans here. If he was still our closer and blew the save on Wednesday, I woulda been livid. At the same time, I feel bad for the guy – knowing how he felt after he was traded … how much the O’s meant to him. Suddenly being traded when you heard that you would remain an integral part of the team. Must be a hard transition. I know many of those guys do it every year, go from club to club, but Johnson wasn’t one of them. He started with the O’s farm system and came up and found success – that was all he knew. After reading about the trade, it sounded like he was a very integral part of the clubhouse and the bullpen – a senior voice and a leader. I was more worried about the loss of his leadership when he was traded than anything else … I hope for A’s fans and for his sake he finds his footing and fast … I only wish success for him, which is a weird thing to say right now as an O’s fan.