Closer Jim Johnson posted a 1.21 ERA in the first half of the season. He’s allowed 13 earned runs, and 15 total, in 6 1/3 innings since the All-Star break.
The six earned runs tonight are a career high for Johnson as a reliever.
“I fell behind and a couple balls got through,” he said. “It just kind of happened. It obviously wasn’t my best day.”
Did it just snowball on him?
“Eventually, with the results, it did,” he said. “I didn’t feel like that at the moment. I felt like the whole time I had, up until they scored the go-ahead run, I felt like I was one pitch away. Even after they scored the go-ahead run, I felt like we could still get out of this with the way the guys were swinging tonight. I felt like the guys could have scored in extras.”
Asked why his command was so spotty, Johnson replied, “I’ll look at the tapes and tell you tomorrow. I don’t know. I felt like I made some pretty good pitches. Obviously, there were some that weren’t that good. Overall, just not my best command and we play a lot of games and some days you have it and some days you don’t.
“I’m not going to beat myself up too much about it because I think it’s an anomaly today, knowing what my preparation was, how I went about it. I did everything except for make a couple pitches, and obviously the end result wasn’t what we wanted, so I’m not going to focus on (things) negatively. There’s a lot of good that got us to this point.”
Zach Britton conceded that he didn’t have his “best stuff.”
“We knew they were a hot team coming in and knew we were going to have to be on our game today,” he said. “I made a couple mistakes early in the game that they got me on. I knew I just had to give the team innings and give us a chance to stay in the game, so I didn’t have my best stuff, but I competed the best I could and gave it everything I had.
“The offense did a great job. We had opportunities to win that game, they had opportunities to win that game. The game was just back and forth, but our offense picked us up big today.
“My stuff wasn’t the best it’s been. Balls were up in the zone early in the game and they came out swinging and ran through some of the bad pitches I really made. The triple to (Josh) Reddick was a good pitch, but a bad hop over Mark (Reynolds’) head, and (Chris) Carter was a guy I know that swings 0-0 and I kind of went away from the sinker and went four-seam on him, and first-pitch swinging he hits it out. And the same thing with (Brandon) Hicks. I knew they were going to be aggressive and I went after him with a four-seam instead of my best pitch, which was a mental mistake on my part. But after that, I felt like I got the ball down a little bit better and made some of those pitches. I just really tried to compete and take some pressure off the bullpen.”