In case you were wondering, yes, Jim Johnson was going to get the save opportunity in the ninth inning Friday.
For that to happen, Oakland would have had to score one, two or three runs. Instead they scored seven runs and Johnson wound up not pitching at all.
But the one-time closer would have gotten the call, manager Bob Melvin said.
“It was set up for Johnson tonight,’’ Melvin said. “It was his game to close.’’
That does not mean that Johnson is the closer. Melvin is very pointedly making sure anybody who asks knows that for the moment the club is happy going with a closer-by-committee.
Johnson has made five consecutive scoreless appearances, a total of 6.2 innings after his rough five-game introduction to the A’s in which the two-time 50-saves machine was 0-2 with one save and one blown save while he compiled an 18.90 ERA.
Melvin said that the last five games have seen Johnson getting his sinker down at knee level where he gets the ground balls that his save total the last two years has been built on.