At this stage in the season the struggles of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen can go without saying. Prior to their current three-game winning streak, the Dodgers dropped five in row thanks in part to both a stagnant offense and lack of consistency from the bullpen.
The relief pitching has since improved and helped the Dodgers sweep a series against the Cincinnati Reds. A big part of that bullpen revival was pitcher Jim Johnson, who secured a 1-0 win Thursday en route to converting his first save with Los Angeles.
After the game Johnson acknowledged some frustration with the rough beginning to his career in Los Angeles, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
It’s been tough. I’m trying to contribute in a meaningful way. I hadn’t like I wanted to. I felt that I affected some of the games we played, some of the games we lost, not directly but indirectly I wasn’t doing my job.”
Johnson, a former All-Star who posted had over 50 saves in 2011 and 2013, hasn’t been as consistent as expected. Since being was acquired by the Dodgers last month, he’s 0-2 with a 17.61 ERA, 5.86 FIP and 2.60 WHIP.
In six of the 10 games that Johnson has appeared in, the 32-year-old has allowed at least one run, including a horrendous relief effort against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he allowed eight runs in just two-thirds an inning — resulting in his inflated ERA.
However, since allowing the eight runs, four of Johnson’s last six relief appearances have been scoreless efforts.