Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters after tonight’s 6-3 loss to the Red Sox that Steve Johnson was still “somewhat of an option” to start Saturday in Detroit. However, I doubt that it’s going to happen after Johnson threw 28 pitches tonight.
“There’s still that potential he can pitch there,” Showalter said. “He hadn’t pitched in seven days. We didn’t want to pitch anyone else. We were down to our last guy. I was trying to stay away from Steve if I could. We’re going to have to think about it a little and see what other options we might have, but he pitched well tonight.”
J.C. Romero wasn’t available tonight and Showalter was trying hard to avoid using Darren O’Day and Jim Johnson.
It appears that Nick Markakis made the decision to bunt with two on and no outs in the second inning. Showalter wasn’t going to throw him under the bus.
“I like the thought process. He just didn’t quite execute it,” Showalter said.
“Nicky is a guy that’s always trying to do what’s best for the team, and I applaud him for the thought process. Maybe if he gets it down in a better spot, it might turn out really well.”
Showalter removed Chris Tillman with two outs in the fifth inning after the right-hander’s 110th pitch.
“He had like 10 three-ball counts,” Showalter said. “His stuff was good. You’ve got to tip your hat a little bit to Boston. They really made him work for everything. They had a lot of foul balls. He had a lot of counts in his favor, but he couldn’t finish hitters off. You’ve got to give them some credit for that. He was still a pitch away. But that many pitches in that short a period of time... You see the good and the challenges that he faces sometimes.”
Asked if he was happy with a 7-3 homestand, Showalter replied, “Happy is not the good word. I’m sure I’m perceived as a happy guy all the time. Our guys wanted to win all 10. That’s the way we approached it.
“There was a game there tonight that they took advantage of some of our pitching struggles. We kind of dwell on the moment of tonight’s game and we leave the locker room we’ve got to turn our attention to good ballclubs we have to face in their ballpark. Some good things happened. I’m proud of the effort and the way they’re approaching it.”
Showalter wasn’t happy with Adam Jones being hit by a Clay Buchholz pitch in the third inning, but he chose his words carefully after the game.
“Everybody has their own private thoughts about that,” he said. “I can’t read people’s minds. That wasn’t the only pitch they threw inside tonight. I don’t think anybody on our club feels good about any time that one of our guys gets hit, so we’ll file it away.”
Asked if he thought Buchholz was throwing at him, Jones replied, “It’s not important.”
Tillman noted how the Red Sox “made me throw a lot of pitches all night long.”
“They fouled off some good pitches and they got in a lot of deep counts. I fell behind a lot and I had to make a lot of important pitches there,” he said.
“My curveball was better tonight from what it has been. I didn’t use my changeup as much as I had been in the past. Command was better, but not where it needs to be. I fell behind too much.
“After we scored those runs, I tried to keep the momentum on our side. It was just one of those nights where I had to battle every inning, I felt like. It was a huge mometum game. Trying to keep it in our dugout and I kept our guys on the field too long.
“There were a lot of situations where I had to make a big pitch. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. They got the best of me tonight.”