5:15 PM — Jason Johnson quotes: “It was my first time being in front of a crowd in two months, and I had a little bit of nervous energy going on at the beginning of the game. I think once I got through that first inning, I felt a more confident and I started to settle down a little bit and got a little bit better. I’m definitely not happy with it, but I’m happy that my shoulder felt good, and I’m happy that I threw all my pitches. I’m going to get one more start here on Thursday and then hopefully go up to Scranton.”
“I felt fine, I felt like I was throwing pretty good pitches at the beginning of the game, but I just wasn’t getting the calls. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
“I think I need to be more aggressive. I feel like I was maybe a little bit timid at the beginning of the game, just because it was a whole different scenario than down in Tampa, where you’re going against your own team with nobody in the stands and nothing going on. I think I’m going to be a lot more aggressive next time and get ahead of guys and get the job done the way that I should.”
Tommy Phelps quotes: “(Bleich) is a smart kid, very polished for coming out of college. Great command of both sides. He’s a good competitor, he’s got good feel for what he’s doing.”
“I don’t know what the expectations are, I’ve got to watch him and observe. I haven’t seen him really pitch in a game, I just saw him in extended last year after he got drafted, and he was rehabbing a little bit to get his pitch count up. But I haven’t really seen him pitch, so I’m going to observe and just watch him.”
“(Johnson) is going to have one more start here I think, and then I don’t know what his schedule is after that. I believe he’s going to go to Triple-A. But as far as I know, he’s going to start for us on Thursday.”
“I think he got squeezed a little bit. He had a lot of near misses around the zone and got into some bad counts. It was his first time coming up from extended spring, next time he’s going to be fine. He made one bad pitch for the home run, but other than that, he was pretty good.”
“He doesn’t have his velocity that he had before. He’s a mid 90’s guy, and he’s high 80’s right now. But he’s a good a real good changeup, and he’s pitched nine plus years in the big leagues, so obviously he knows what he’s doing and knows how to do it. It’s just a matter of him getting back out there and battling through it.”
“He got squeezed early and it kind of threw him off his game plan a little bit, and he was just trying to find the umpire’s zone. He had a couple walks there in a row and got a couple pitches elevated over the plate and guys put it in play, obviously.”
5:00 PM — Lineups are out…
Quintin Berry, CF
Carlos Leon, SS
Michael Taylor, DH
Brian Stavisky, 1B
Neil Sellers, 3B
Kevin Mahar, LF
Gus Milner, RF
Brad Harman, 2B
Tuffy Gosewich, C
Mike Stutes, P
Austin Krum, CF
Reegie Corona, 2B
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Jorge Vazquez, 1B
Jesus Montero, C
Chris Malec, DH
Noah Hall, LF
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
Jason Stephens, P
4:55 PM — Jeremy Bleich has been called up from Tampa and will start for the Thunder on Tuesday…Jason Johnson will now stick around for one more start, which will come Thursday.
Bleich is not here yet — he’s expected to come later tonight — but I do have Phelps and Johnson quotes for you…will be posted shortly.
4:10 PM — There is a starting pitcher coming up from Tampa who is expected to start Tuesday…will hold off on the name until he shows up, which is expected to be later today. Jason Johnson may be the player taken off the roster — one way or the other — to accomodate him.
3:20 PM — Honestly, the big news here is that TV pitchman Billy Mays has passed away…I’ll admit, I was a Billy fan…so I’m pretty shocked by that news. Love watching Pitchmen on Discovery, etc.
And yes, for those of you looking for…oh, I don’t know, baseball news…Jay Stephens is starting today.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com