5/12 Johnson prepped to pitch
If Friday’s game had gone any longer, Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson would’ve been called on to pitch. Manager Dale Sveum used all of his relievers in the 13-inning marathon against the Brewers. Johnson didn’t know that until Saturday morning.
“I was thinking about it, actually, because of that game the other night with the Red Sox and Orioles,” he said of the 18-inning game in which two position players were called on to pitch.
“All the pressure is on the hitter at that point,” Johnson said Saturday. “I hate facing position players. It’s a lose-lose situation. You’re supposed to get a hit.”
When was the last time Johnson, 35, actually pitched?
“A long time,” he said. “I couldn’t really tell you.”
He guessed the last time he took the mound was for Temecula Valley High School in California. That is a long time ago.
“Position players always think they can pitch and pitchers always think they can hit, and it usually doesn’t work out,” Johnson said. “I probably would’ve featured some different arm angles but I wouldn’t really realize I was doing it. I’d release the ball from a different spot every time, probably throw a curve ball.
“Actually, in those situations, you just want to throw strikes, to tell you the truth, and try to get out of it,” he said.
And his velocity?
“I don’t know if I want to find out,” Johnson said. “We’ll just say I throw mid 90s.”
On Saturday, he said he’d be prepared if needed.
“Maybe I’ll go down to the bullpen and throw a side,” he said.
— Carrie Muskat