BRADENTON, Fla. - Jim Johnson made back-to-back appearances for the first time this spring, and the results today were much better.
Johnson struck out a batter for the second out of the eighth inning, issued a walk and induced his second ground ball of the day. He threw 19 pitches, 10 for strikes.
Walks continue to be an issue for Johnson, though he might have gotten squeezed on a slider. He’s walked six batters in eight innings.
Johnson’s fastball topped out at 95 mph.
Update: The Orioles played to their sixth tie today, which we believe is a spring training record.
Don’t expect a ceremony at Camden Yards this summer.
Pedro Strop escaped a jam in the ninth, and the Pirates weren’t interested in pushing the game into the 10th.
Asked about Jake Arrieta, manager Buck Showalter said, “He felt good physically. Product of the environment a little bit, but he feels great. Throwing the ball good.”
Both home runs off Arrieta came on changeups that he probably wouldn’t throw during the regular season.
“Speed up the bats there,” Showalter said. “He’s in a good spot. I’m happy where he is compared to where he was when he left us last year. To be at this point in the spring and be healthy and throwing the ball good ... I feel good about his stuff.”
Showalter thought Johnson had “his best outing of the spring.”
“That was really good to see,” Showalter said. “The big thing is location. You can tell when he’s locating the ball, he feels good about himself. I think that second day in a row did him good. Once you see the command, you can tell he feels good about where he is.”