Orioles closer Jim Johnson, who hasn’t pitched since April 22 and spent four days in the hospital last week with food poisoning, said he threw a second bullpen session Sunday and is ready to get back into a game.
“It seems like it has been a long time,” Johnson said. “But I feel fine. I feel like I am back to where I need to be.”
Johnson said he threw a bullpen session Sunday – his second since returning to the team on Friday – and he felt good enough to tell manager Buck Showalter that he was ready to pitch.
“The first time I threw not everything was where it needed to be. It was kind of all that time off and all the other things that was going on it just didn’t feel right,” said Johnson, who has converted 15 straight save opportunities dating back to last year. “But I threw again [Sunday] before the game early and I actually felt like I threw the ball better than I had been the week before I got sick. So, like I said, I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be.”
While Johnson was out, the Orioles bullpen filled in admirably. Pedro Strop had two saves and Luis Ayala had one. Johnson said he’s not sure whether Showalter will ease him back into the role or put him right back in the next time a save opportunity arises.
“If the situation presents itself, we’ll see how [Showalter] handles it,” Johnson said. “I’ll be ready for it.”
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Orioles: Reimold 7, Hardy 6, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Davis 3, Betemit 5, Reynolds dh, Andino 4. Hammel 1.
Yankees: Jeter 6, Granderson 8, Rodriguez DH, Cano 4, Teixeira 3, Ibanez 9, Chavez 5, Martin 2, Nunez 7. Kuroda 1.