Jurrjens and Johnson on their outings
I’ll have a full story with more details and quotes up later on Orioles.com, but here is what Steve Johnson and Jair Jurrjens had to say about their outings against the Toronto Blue Jays today. Johnson got the start and went two innings, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. He also struck out two, with one of the runs coming on a solo homer from Andy LaRoche.
Jurrjens pitched 2 2/3 innings and took a shutout into his third inning before a two-out walk to Anthony Gose sparked a Toronto rally. He allowed three runs on four hits after that.
[on his outing] “I felt good physically, so that was good, but obviously the results weren’t really what I wanted. I wanted to go out there and pound the zone. Just couldn’t really get in a rhythm today, especially early. Second inning I felt a little better and pounded the zone a little more. First inning I just left the ball up a lot.”
“Just the fastball command. I’ve been battling that a little bit. It always comes around. It’s just right now it’s a little hit or miss. I felt like I threw a lot of good sliders. That was one positive out of today. I got a strikeout on one to end the first. Threw my off-speed pitches for strikes. But fastball command is usually there for me and it just wasn’t there to start the day. The second inning it kind of got away from me, too, but it will be there. I can do better.”
[on typically having good command] “That’s who I am. I’m not really too worried about it, being however many innings I have in camp. It’s not many. There’s a lot of time for the season to start. It comes around. It’s just, right now I feel good and I’m letting the ball go pretty good. It’s just the height of the ball, it’s not down enough right now. I just left the ball up a lot today.”
[on getting his first spring start] “It was definitely good to get this start. I kind of feel honored in a way to get a start here, knowing how the competition is. I know I can do better and I will. It just wasn’t all the way there today.”
[on if he was confident going in he fixed his issues from last outing] “Yes. The last bullpen I threw, I felt like I was beginning to get my rhythm back and my mechanics and all of the delivery was coming together. I felt good leading up to today and in the game. I was working on throwing first-pitch strikes and I think it was better than the last one for sure. I think for me, I corrected a lot of the stuff that needed to be corrected.”
[on if it was important with the rotation competition to pitch well today] “Yeah. You know, I’m not trying to think about it. I’m trying to get better and trying to get back to what I used to be. And that’s it. that’s the only thing I can control. I can’t control if the manager decides who is going to win the job. My job is to go out there, try to give the best performance I can and see how it goes.”
[on his confidence this spring in his pitches] “Last year at this moment, I wasn’t even breaking 90. This is a big step for me. I’m seeing the first couple of sliders I throw, see them buckle some knees. And it’s real encouraging to keep working. I’m getting closer and closer to where I’m supposed to be.”