By Kent Larsen
Orioles' Johnson Says Tragedy Didn't Affect Game, but Loses
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA -- The Baltimore Orioles best pitcher, Jason
Johnson, claimed this week that he didn't think about the terrorist
attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon at all while
pitching in the team's first game after the attacks. But that didn't
keep the Orioles from losing for the 15th time in their last 16
games. But Johnson, an LDS Church member, did admit that he and his
wife, Stacey, were shaken by the attacks.
The Orioles' best pitcher, Johnson told the press last week that he
didn't want to pitch last Friday in the team's planned game against
the Boston Red Sox. But that was before Major League Baseball
commissioner Bud Selig postponed the baseball schedule, leaving the
Orioles to play their first game following the tragic events of
September 11th on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. But while
Johnson said Sunday that he was ready for the game, his pitching
apparently wasn't quite ready.
Although he lasted more than seven innings, Johnson couldn't quite
control where in the strike zone his pitches ended, and as a result
gave up three home runs inthe first two innings. And even when the
Orioles managed to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning, he
couldn't hold the lead for even one pitch, giving up a home run to
Toronto's Raul Mondesi on the first pitch in the bottom of the
eighth. Toronto went on to win the game 8-5.
While it might have been convenient to blame the loss on the shock of
last week's tragedy, Johnson claimed he was into the game, "Once I
got into the game, I didn't think about it all," said Johnson. "It's
my job. I didn't think about [the last week] at all until after the
game." But its also possible that last week's events affected Johnson
more than even he knows.
O's pick up season with loss
Baltimore MD Sun 19Sep01 S2
By Joe Strauss: Sun Staff