Youngster Erik Johnson made his second MLB start for the White Sox on Tuesday evening. And while he could have thrown better, facing a tough Tigers offense and not having a competent defense behind him led to Johnson's second loss in as many tries.
As described beautifully on South Side Sox, Johnson threw the ball pretty well to start off the ball game but let up two quick runs in the first inning.
After striking out Austin Jackson to lead off the contest, Andy Dirks singled and moved to second on a Josh Phegley passed ball before scoring on a Conor Gillaspie throw-away. A Prince Fielder single and a Victor Martinez sac-fly got the next run across the plate.
After an easy second inning, the third brought a lot more trouble for Johnson.
Though he got two quick outs, Prince Fielder kept the inning going with a line-drive home run to right field. Martinez then singled before a Don Kelly walk, and all of the sudden Detroit was threatening to put another crooked number up on the board.
A Paul Konerko error put both runners in scoring position and and an Alex Avila single drove in two more runs, putting the Tigers up 5-0. And after getting hit hard to start off the fourth inning followed by some control issues, manager Robin Ventura came out to replace him.
So no, his line of 3.2 IP and six runs allowed is not good, but only two of them were earned. It is fair to say that the White Sox behind him, not actually Johnson himself, aren't putting him in a position to succeed. You have to remember that a kid like him so new to the big leagues can probably get pretty flustered when he sees his team play like a bunch of high schoolers.
Hopefully Johnson can make a couple starts in which the guys behind him give him a chance before the year is up.