Results tagged ‘ Davey Johnson ’
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he will continue to rely on reliever Sean Burnett in close games even though the latter is having a disappointing season. Entering Saturday’s action, Burnett is 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA.
In Friday’s 7-2 victory over the Dodgers, Johnson showed how much faith he had in Burnett. With Washington leading, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Johnson took starter John Lannan out of the game after Aaron Miles doubled with one out.
Burnett entered the game and was able to get Tony Gwynn Jr. to ground out and strike out Rafael Furcal to end the inning.
“I talked to Bernie and I said, ‘I have all the confidence in the world in you. I’m going to use you in tough situations.’ He was outstanding,” Johnson said.
Burnett said he is grateful the Nationals still believe in him.
“That’s what I expect. That’s what we talked about. My role hasn’t changed,” said Burnett, who is one of Washington’s setup men. “The hardest part was, I was getting put in the games, they were close and I wasn’t getting the job done. [Former manager Jim] Riggleman did it when he was here and Davey has done it. They kept throwing me in the fire. Eventually, I had to start pitching better. The last couple of outings have been better and, hopefully, I can get on a roll.”
With the Nationals leading, 5-4, over the Cubs in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, manager Davey Johnson wanted to leave reliever Henry Rodriguez in the game. Rodriguez had dominated the eighth inning, allowing a hit and striking out the side.
But according to Johnson, close Drew Storen was expecting to go in and save his 22 game of the season. Johnson had a change of heart and put Storen in the game. Storen ended up retiring the side in order as the Nationals defeated the Cubs by the same score.
“[Bullpen coach] Jimmy Lett said [Storen] wasn’t real happy. I got [Storen’s] blood boiling,” Johnson said.
Johnson didn’t want to use Storen because the later has been used a lot this season. Storen has already pitched 45 1/3 innings in 45 games. Johnson is looking for another reliever who can close games while Storen gets a rest sometimes.
“My closer, he is on pace to be in probably 70-something games,” Johnson said. “This is basically his first-[full] year as a closer. That’s not what I want to do to him. He is probably capable of doing it. He wasn’t the closer all year. He was doing some other things. He has a lot of innings.
“If you are going to be 10, 20, 30 games over .500, you have to have somebody else. Two or three of my closers over the years, when we were on a role, they come to me and say, ‘I need a day off.’ I want to groom that guy that can come in and pick up the slack.”
Storen didn’t deny his displeasure about Johnson original decision on Wednesday, but later understood why Johnson wanted leave Rodriguez in the game.
Storen said he has found ways to make sure that his arm doesn’t get tired. He has cut down on throwing a lot in the bullpen and doesn’t cut corners when it comes to doing exercises and icing his shoulder.
“My favorite thing in the world is to pitch the ninth inning,” Storen said. “But I understand that Henry dominated the eighth inning and didn’t throw a lot of pitches. Competitively, you want to be out there, but I understood. I was fired up any way. I was just standing there. I was ready to go either way. … I appreciate the way he was looking out for us. That was nice.”
Although the Nationals won their 44 game of the season Tuesday night, manager Davey Johnson is concerned about the offense.
It’s more than just the .233 batting average that bothers Johnson. The team is below average when it comes to runners in scoring position. During Tuesday’s game against the Cubs, for example, Washington went 2-for-11.
However, Johnson remains hopeful that the team will break out of its slump.
“It’s almost like there is a little pressure going through [the players] and they can’t quite get it off them,” Johnson said. “I’m a positive manager. Good things are coming. We are winning games when we are not running on all cylinders. It makes it interesting.”
One of the players who is not running on all cylinders at the plate is right fielder Jayson Werth, who went 0-for4 with two strikeouts and has seen his batting average go down to .221. Johnson acknowledged after the game that Werth has hit rock bottom at the plate.
“I think he has bottomed out,” Johnson said about Werth. “I thought he was in a good frame of mind during the last two to three days. I think he is comfortable. I think earlier in the year, he played mentor a little more than he needed to for some of the young guys. But he is a heck of a ballplayer and I know he is going to start doing things that he is capable of doing.”
White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said Sunday that the Nationals are a much improved team because of their pitching staff.
Entering Monday’s action, the Nationals have the fifth best ERA in the National League. They also are 40-38 and just 3 1/2 games behind the Braves in the Wild Card lead.
“I don’t think everybody knew they would be good this quickly,” Dunn said. “Everybody is [playing well].The pitching is that much better. With Jordan Zimmermann being a 100 percent healthy, it’s huge for the team.”
Dunn also said the Nationals made an excellent choice by hiring Davey Johnson as their new manager. Johnson will manage his first game with the team Monday night against the Angels. Dunn played for Johnson during the World Baseball Classic in 2009.
“If there is any manager who could make a difference on a club, it would be Davey,” Dunn said. “I had a chance to be with him at the WBC and he is awesome, awesome, awesome. He was really positive and had a lot of fun. Plus, he immediately had every one’s respect when he stepped in the dugout.”
Infielder Alex Cora is the only player on the Nationals’ current roster to play for new manager Dave Johnson.
As a member of the Dodgers, Cora played for Johnson in 1999 and 2000. Cora remembered Johnson as a great communicator with the players.
“He is a winner. He has always been around winning teams. It going to be good to have him here,” Cora said. “The organization have a plan in place and he is not going to deviate from that. He will ask the team to respect the game and play hard. And if we keep doing that, then we’ll are going to be fine.”
Cora’s best memory of Johnson has nothing to do with what he did on the field. He remembered Johnson as a caring person. Cora has heart procedures in November of 1999 and January of 2000.
When Spring Training started in ’00, Johnson was honest with Cora, telling him he wasn’t going to make the team out of Spring Training. Johnson wanted Cora to take it slow and get his body in shape.
“He sent me down for a month and once the Dodgers called me up, Davey gave me a shot to play,” Cora said. “I learned a lot from him and the veteran guys that we had.
“Davey trusts his veterans. He will trust that we will take care of these kids [on the Nationals]. I think it’s going to be a good situation.”
The Nationals named Davey Johnson as the senior advisor to the general manager Mike Rizzo.
Johnson joins the Nationals after managing Team USA to a semi-finals berth in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Johnson managed or coached five Team USA professional squads since 2005, including the 2008 Olympic team that claimed the bronze in Beijing.
Johnson spent the summer of 2009 managing amateur players with the DeLand Suns of the Florida Collegiate Summer League.
Johnson skippered four big league teams — the Mets, Reds, Orioles and Dodgers — for 14 seasons, compiling a 1,148-888 (.564) record. In those 14 big league seasons, Johnson’s clubs finished first or second 11 times, including five division titles, one pennant and one World Championship earned with the Mets in 1986.
In 1997, Johnson was named American League Manager of the Year after guiding the Orioles to a 98-64 (.605) record. He was recently named one of 10 managers to be placed on the new Veterans Committee ballot for potential induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
As a player, Johnson hit .261 with 136 home runs and 609 RBI in 13 big-league seasons during a career that included a stint in Japan. Johnson was a four-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves, played in five post-seasons and earned a pair of World Series rings with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970. He is also the only player to have hit behind Hank Aaron and Japan’s all-time home run king, Sadaharu Oh.