Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/17/13
Erik Johnson’s first two outings didn’t give White Sox manager Robin Ventura a chance to properly evaluate the young right-hander. A combination of shoddy defense high pitch counts and zero offense limited Johnson’s chances of pitching competitively. But White Sox catcher Bryan Anderson knows all about the team’s top pitching prospect after he caught him a half-dozen times at Triple-A this season. Even though Johnson picked up his first major league win in a 12-1 White Sox victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field Anderson said the rookie pitcher has only started to show his ability. Johnson struck out eight in six shutout innings. “That was only a little sample of what his real potential is” Anderson said. “Most nights his slider/cutter is really effective and his changeup is usually pretty good too. (Monday) we mostly stuck with fastball curveball. All four of his pitches are really good and he doesn’t give in.” The never-say-die attitude suited Johnson in the first inning. He looked to be right back where he started when Gordon Beckham committed a first-inning throwing error on a sure double play. Instead of turning two Johnson had a man at second with one out courtesy of the team’s sixth error behind him in three starts. But Johnson shook off the miscue and a walk to Trevor Plouffe -- his second of the inning -- with consecutive strikeouts of Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham. Even though the White Sox followed Johnson’s artful escape with a seven-run rally in the bottom of the first inning -- their biggest first inning since April 21 2002 -- Johnson said the “zero” he put up was critical. Johnson had allowed first-inning runs in each of his previous two starts.
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