Red Sox Strut: Xander Bogaerts, Brian Johnson are stars of the week
By Sean Penney
Pitcher who gets to Strut
For the first time in his major league career, Brian Johnson has earned the right to Strut.
Making only the third start of his career and first at Fenway Park, Johnson tossed a complete game shutout to beat the Mariners. He allowed only five hits, no walks and struck out eight.
Johnson only had two prior big league starts on his resume, one of which came last month and the other in 2015. He failed to go deeper than five innings and gave up four earned runs in each of those starts.
This time Johnson seemed to be a completely different pitcher. He actually looked like a pitcher who belonged in the big leagues, like the pitcher who has been brilliant for Triple-A Pawtucket this year.
Boston has struggled to fill the back end of an injury depleted rotation, turning to fringe options such as Kyle Kendrick and Hector Velazquez with disastrous results. Johnson’s first start for the Red Sox this season threatened to put him in that same reject pile, yet now his outlook looks considerably better.
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Price’s return means there’s no immediate need for Johnson in the rotation, but you can be sure that he’ll be the first option the team calls up if they need another spot starter.