What could be known as the worst start out of the four wasn’t even all that bad.
If you can look past the first inning three-run home run and the second inning solo home run, Johnson was fairly solid.
In his five innings of work, Johnson allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits. He also struck out 11 Yankees hitters while allowing a walk to just two of them. Again, the bulk of his line came in the first inning when an error, a base hit, then a home run put a dent in it.
However, after that, he went on a tear. Johnson allowed just two more runs and four hits after the first three hitters of the game, keeping the Red Sox in the game down 4-0.
Sure, a lot can be said about allowing the Yankees to jump on the board 4-0 after two innings. However, consider what may have happened if Johnson allowed the wheels to fall off.
Maybe the Red Sox don’t chip away little by little, setting up Steve Pearce‘s monster night. Maybe the Yankees get off to a big win in game one and instead they sweep the Red Sox. Crazy thoughts, I know. But are you seeing the point?
Down 4-0, Johnson kept the Sox in the game. His scoreless third and fourth innings kept the Sox within striking distance and allowed the offense to overtake the Yankees with a monster fourth inning.
Although his stat line wasn’t the best, Johnson pitched his butt off on Thursday night.