You now can put Brian Johnson and Pedro Martinez in the same sentence.
The Red Sox left-handed starter tossed an absolute gem for Boston on Saturday, as he shut out the Seattle Mariners in the Sox’s 6-0 win.
So, just how good was Johnson in his first start at Fenway Park? Historically good.
When you’re in the same sentence as Martinez, you’re doing something right as a pitcher. And Johnson certainly was Saturday.
He pounded the strike zone, as evidenced by his 85 strikes on 109 pitches. He finished with eight strikeouts in Boston’s first complete-game shutout of the season.
Unfortunately for Johnson, he was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket afterward, as was the plan the whole time in order to make room for David Price. But he’ll always have May 27, 2017, no matter where he’s pitching.
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from Red Sox vs. Mariners.
— When you have a game like Johnson had, chances are pretty high this will happen:
— Johnson didn’t have a no-hitter heading into the final two outs, but the atmosphere felt awfully close to one after Jackie Bradley Jr. made two spectacular catches in center field. Bradley also hit a two-run home run.
— The Red Sox’s pitchers have done pretty well of late, to say the least.
— Tyler Thornburg, who came to Boston via trade over the offseason, has yet to pitch for the Red Sox this season due to a right shoulder injury. But it appears there’s some movement on the injury front for him.
“As we said, ideally at the end of this week we’d hope to have a ball in his hand,” Sox manager John Farrell said before Saturday’s game, via MassLive.com. “I don’t know if that’s going to be today. But based on the work that he’s doing in the training room, the range of motion, some of the symptoms that are subsiding, we’re hopeful that is getting closer.
“And I know that is an inconclusive response. But at the same time, he’s going to have a ball in his hand when he’s first capable. And by no means have we written anything off. We feel like the throwing program is going to resume shortly and the progression following.”
— Pablo Sandoval played a full nine innings for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, which was a key step forward in his rehab stint following a sprained knee. He went hitless, but he appears to be close to returning to the big leagues.
“Physically fine,” Farrell said. “He’s back for another nine innings today. There’s a scheduled work day with us tomorrow here, which he’ll be at Fenway Park. So we’d have a chance to sit down with him in person and look at the upcoming days and what makes most sense for all involved. … I wouldn’t rule it out (him playing next week against the Chicago White Sox) but I think until we get through today, get a chance to work tomorrow before the game, and we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk with him at that point.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images