The Atlanta Braves won the first game of a tough 4 game stint in Los Angeles late last night. Jim Johnson, again, made it look harder than it should be.
Look, I don’t want to bang on our beloved Atlanta Braves after winning on the road. I certainly don’t want to bang on them when they go on the road and beat the best team in the National League at their place. But something has to be said about Jim Johnson.
We’re all thinking it. It doesn’t make us bad fans either. Though, a superficial analysis would probably argue that it does. After all, Johnson currently is 3rd in the NL in Total Saves (22).
But, sometimes, yes, even in baseball, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Did you see the game last night? In, what has become, typical fashion, Johnson gave up a hit and a walk in the 9th. Were it not for Johan Camargo’s best Willie Mays impression, twisting and catching a ball that falls 9 times out of 10, Johnson probably would have blown the save.
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In fact, Jim Johnson has seven blown saves. Yes, the Braves have managed to win three of those, but still. In a season where this team is scrapping and scraping to get to .500, those four games lost, when we had the lead going into the 9th inning, mean something. A whole lotta something.
Last night, Mike Foltynewicz was the Starting Pitcher and has an ERA of 3.87. Jim Johnson was the closer and has an ERA of 3.92. Unless your starter is Greg Maddux circa 1994, it is not a good thing for your “closer” to have a higher ERA than your starter.
Like I said, I don’t want to bang on the Braves after a good win. Nor do I want to dig at Jim Johnson, necessarily. But somebody has to say it. And it seems that nobody is.
I hope Jim Johnson gets “right”. The Atlanta Braves need him to get right. But, either way, something’s gotta give.