Results tagged ‘ Alan Johnson ’
The Sox are in the win column after defeating the Tucson Padres 5-3 behind a solid outing from starter Alan Johnson and fourinnings of scoreless relief from the bullpen.
A clutch two-out, two-run single by Matt Macri broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth and Andrew Johnston pitched the ninth to pick up his first save of the year.
Rex Brothers (1-0, 0.00) picked up the win in his first Triple-A appearance pitching 1.1 innings with 2 strikeouts while consistently displaying a fastball in the high 90′s.
The game was a significant departure from the slugfest in game one of the series. The Sox utilized a small ball approach, accruing three sacrifice bunts, two sacrifice flies, and three stolen bases as they scratched their way to five runs.
After combining for 16 extra-base hits in the opener, the two teams would collect only 12 total hits, all singles, in game two.
All three of Tucson’s runs were unearned as the Sox committed three errors, including two on throws by first baseman Mike Jacobs.
The Sox will look to start their first wining streak of the year as they face Tucson in game three of the series at 1:05 pm today. Clayton Mortensen (NR) will make his first start for the Sky Sox against Josh Geer (NR)
- Former New York Yankee, San Diego Padre, and Wasson High School Alumni Goose Gossage was in attendance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday night.
- In two games this series, the teams have combined to make four errors a piece
- Sox outfielder Cole Garner is 4-of-7 with four RBI and two runs scored after two games this season. Dating back to August 14th of last year, he has hit safely in 22 of his last 26 games while hitting .433 (42-97) over that stretch with eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, 24 runs scored and 21 RBI
The Sky Sox come into tonight’s game with the Portland Beavers riding not only a season-high, five-game winning streak but also a five-game quality start streak. Alan Johnson turned in a quality start yesterday afternoon despite not factoring into the decision after working seven solid innings and giving up just two runs on a second inning homer. In the past five games, the Sox starting pitchers are a combined 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA having giving up just three earned runs in 37.2 innings pitched. Adam Eaton, who has been very impressive in his three starts with the Sox, looks to keep the momentum going tonight against the Beavers in a matchup of right-handers as Matt Buschmann (3-8, 6.48 ERA) takes the hill for Portland.
Here’s Stu Cole’s lineup for tonight’s game:
Eric Young Jr. – 2B
Chris Frey – CF
Matt Miller – LF
Matt Murton – RF
Dan Ortmeier – 1B
Christian Colonel – 3B
Edwin Bellorin – C
Jonathan Herrera – SS
Adam Eaton – SP
Mike McCoy gets the day off today and EY returns after getting yesterday off. Cole and Young were out early today working on the young second baseman’s fielding. Cole hit about 30 or so balls to him out at second as he worked on his approach to ground balls and throws to first. His defense has been pretty solid this season, he’s also made many spectacular plays, but if there is one part of his game that needs to be worked on that’s probably it.
Growing up in Pleasant Grove, Alabama, Sky Sox starting pitcher, Alan Johnson began playing baseball at the young age of four. While coming into his own as a ball player he developed an admiration for two outstanding pitchers in Sandy Koufax and Greg Maddux. Not a bad duo of guys to look up to.
Johnson’s baseball career has come a long way since his days as a four-year-old in Alabama. He pushed himself hard enough to play collegiately at Mississippi State University and used his time there as a launching pad to a professional career in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Johnson wasn’t so sure he would get the shot to play professionally, however, as he went undrafted in the 2005 June draft.
“Draft day I was kind of expecting to go late. It was kind of funny because it was me and my roommate and we had both been told it was a possibility we could go mid to late rounds and we were just sitting there watching the computer and it didn’t happen so we just said, ‘well I guess it’s about that time,” Johnson explained. ” Then we were packing up; ready to move out of our apartment and he gets a call later that evening, and I was like, ‘well congratulations,’ then I drove back home and the next day I got a call from a scout on the Rockies and he asked if I still wanted to play and I said, ‘of course, yeah!”
Johnson is a very humble young man, even at 25-years-old he is still thrilled at the fact he gets to play baseball everyday for a living.
“That’s all I was looking for; is the opportunity to continue playing baseball.” Johnson said, “It’s always been a dream to play professional baseball, but you never really think it’s actually going to happen. I’ve been given the opportunity and I’m trying to take full advantage of it.”
So far in his young career Johnson has been a workhorse. He has pitched a ton of innings the past couple of years. In 2008, he spent the entire season in Double-A Tulsa and led the club in starts (28) and innings pitched (175.2). His 175.2 innings pitched and 28 starts were both the second most by any pitcher in the Texas League that year. The story was no different the year before in Modesto where his 168.2 innings pitched were the third highest in the Cal League.
“I’ve been durable since the first year I’ve ever pitched,” Johnson said, ” It is something I take pride in because I don’t want to miss a start. I like going deep into games and giving your team a chance to win.”
Johnson has gotten off to a great start to the 2009 season for the Sky Sox. He is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA and in his Triple-A debut, which was at home in Colorado Springs, tossed six scoreless innings and only allowed two hits. Thus far, left handed hitters are only hitting .135 against him compared to right-handed hitters, who are not doing much better, batting .192.
“This off-season I said I’m just going to go out there and have fun. I want to be committed to the pitches I’m throwing, but just go out there and have fun, because if you don’t have fun you just kind of think about everything.” Johnson reiterated.
Johnson doesn’t get too fancy when on the mound. He admitted his favorite pitch to throw is his fastball, as it has been his bread and butter throughout his career.
“It’s really been my money pitch,” Johnson explained. “I can throw it anytime that I want to, it’s just something I’ve kind of lived and died by.”
Although it’s still very early in the season, Johnson has not only impressed with his pitching, but even more so with his batting. As of his most recent outing, Johnson is batting an impressive .667 in two games with four hits, one being a double, four RBI and has a slugging percentage of .833. His four RBI are only three shy of tying the franchise record for RBI in a season by a pitcher which is held by two others, Jason Jennings and Jason Young. The interesting thing is Johnson has never had a professional season in which he was known for being a great hitter. He never had an at bat at Modesto and when in Tulsa he went 3-for-23.
“I didn’t even hit in college, and in high school I hit around .340 or .350,” Johnson said. “I’ve always enjoyed hitting, I took a few more cuts this off-season just kind of fooling around I guess, worked on my swing a little bit, and I guess it’s paid off so far.”
When looking ahead to the remainder of the season, Johnson feels the teams’ camaraderie is the most important thing to its success.
“If the team doesn’t get along you are not going to win,” Johnson said, “There are a lot of guys that have plenty of talent but if your team is not gelled or they don’t care about each other you’re not going to win.”
Explaining the solidarity among everyone on the Sky Sox, Johnson said, “Nobody here is really selfish, to me, everybody just kind of looks after each other and enjoys being around each other.”
With the season opening game just two days away, the Sky Sox suited up for their first action of the season as the squad took the field against Colorado State University – Pueblo in a scrimmage at Security Service Field on Tuesday afternoon. Even though the Sky Sox Opening Day roster has not be finalized yet several players saw significant time today. The game started off with both teams putting up a few early runs but the Sox pulled away in the middle and late innings to top CSU Pueblo by the final tally of 17-2.
Here is skipper Tom Runnells’ starting lineup from today’s matchup:
1. Mike McCoy – 2B
2. Carlos Gonzalez – CF
3. Matt Miller – LF
4. Dan Ortmeier – 1B
5. Matt Murton – RF
6. Christian Colonel – 3B
7. Kenny Perez – DH
8. Edwin Bellorin – C
9. Jonathan Herrera – SS
10. Josh Fogg – SP
Sky Sox On the Mound: Fogg started the game and threw one inning while giving up the two CSU tallies on three hits. Right-hander Alan Johnson entered the game in the second and tossed five shutout innings to pick up the win. Johson surrendered just two hits, walked none and struck out three in his first appearance in a Sox uniform. He retired the final nine straight batters he faced before giving way to relievers Scott Munter, Matt Daley and Franklin Nunez who all worked a scoreless frame each.
Sky Sox at the Plate: Overall, the Sox bats cranked out 19 hits and drew seven walks en route to their 15 run victory. Several players turned in solid outings:
Chris Frey: 2-for-4, homer, double, walk, four RBIs
Kenny Perez: 3-for-5, homer, three RBIs
Chrisitan Colonel: 2-for-4, two doubles, walk, three RBIs
Matt Miller: 2-for-5, homer, double, three RBIs