We’ve talked about how Davey Johnson’s patience with his players, even when they’re struggling, is part of what makes him so beloved by the guys he manages.
Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Michael Morse can all attest to that.
Yesterday, it was Johnson’s lack of patience which showed why he is so highly regarded by the guys in his clubhouse.
With the temperature in Atlanta sitting at 104 degrees, Johnson saw that Stephen Strasburg wasn’t himself very early on in yesterday’s game. He noticed that Strasburg was pale, was laboring on the mound and wanted no part of swinging the bat when he came to the plate in the top of the fourth inning, as he tried to conserve energy.
The Nationals were facing a division rival. Strasburg had only worked three innings. Johnson knew if he pulled Strasburg, he’d end up using burning multiple relievers in order to finish the ballgame.
But Johnson didn’t care. He wasn’t going to risk leaving Strasburg in there and having his condition worsen.
Johnson went to the bullpen, and while Chien-Ming Wang and company couldn’t pick Strasburg up and get him off the hook, the Nationals ace was apparently able to escape without any serious heat-related issues.
Strasburg ended up needing three IVs of saline, but it could have been much worse.
Johnson is as competitive as they come in baseball circles, but he always has his players’ best interests in mind.
Yesterday, he took his best pitcher out of a game after only three innings, and the Nationals ended up losing when the bullpen failed to bail them out. But by pulling Strasburg when he did, Johnson showed again why he’s so well-liked as a manager and likely earned even more respect from the guys he manages.