TAMPA, Fla. - Jim Johnson was amused to find two reporters waiting for him outside the clubhouse after tonight’s start.
“Are you kidding?” he asked with a grin.
Nope. We needed the starter, and Johnson qualified tonight.
Johnson allowed one run on three hits. Derek Jeter reached on an infield hit after the ball deflected off Johnson’s glove. Nick Swisher singled on a hit-and-run, and Mark Teixeira doubled for a 1-0 lead.
“Oh, I was so nervous,” Johnson said, clearly in jest.
He wasn’t amped up.
Johnson stuck to his normal routine, rather than change it up for a rare start.
As for the results, he said, “Obviously, I need to field my position. Missed a lot of the sweet parts. Can’t be too upset. I threw the ball well, I thought.”
Robinson Cano lined out on a curveball that Johnson thought was a quality pitch.
So is Johnson where he needs to be at this point in spring training?
“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”
On that note, the two reporters headed back to the press box. We were out of there.
The Orioles are hitless through four innings against Ivan Nova. Robert Andino was hit by a pitch to begin the game, but Nick Markakis grounded into a double play. Adam Jones reached on an error by Alex Rodriguez with two outs in the fourth, but Vladimir Guerrero struck out.
Mark Hendrickson threw two scoreless innings, walking one batter and striking out one. Michael Gonzalez replaced him in the fourth and gave up Teixeira’s second double of the night. Gonzalez struck out Rodriguez and Cano, but Jorge Posada singled for a 2-0 lead.
Update: The Orioles are hitless through the sixth. Nova’s unofficial pitch count: 59.
David Riske retired the side in order in the fifth, striking out two. Here comes Clay Rapada.
Update II: Rapada hit Teixeira with a pitch and served up Rodriguez’s two-run homer. Yankees 4, Orioles 0.
Rapada had allowed one run before tonight, also on a homer.
Mariano Rivera is pitching the seventh.