When he was dominating minor league hitters earlier this season while combining to go 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA for Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte, Erik Johnson pitched 142 innings and allowed just 4 unearned runs.
The 23-year-old starter got a well-deserved call from the White Sox on Sept. 1, and Johnson was hoping to roll his way through the rest of the season.
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Unfortunately, he was instantly jolted with the bad vibe that has hovered over the Sox for much of the year.
In his major-league debut, a 6-5 loss to New York at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday, Johnson was responsible for 2 unearned runs thanks to his own throwing error.
In his first start at U.S. Cellular Field, on Tuesday night against the Tigers, Johnson got a firsthand look at last-place White Sox baseball.
The American League's worst defensive team was out in full force, headed by third baseman Conor Gillaspie, and the end result was a predictable 9-1 loss to Detroit.
"I had some tough breaks out there, but I thought I attacked the zone as best that I could," Johnson said after lasting just 32⁄3 innings and allowing 6 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks.
In 2 starts with the Sox, that is now 6 unearned runs in 92⁄3 innings for Johnson.
"He threw fine," manager Robin Ventura said. "We didn't help him at all. Pitch count-wise, if we're making a few plays here and there it's probably a different story.
"When you're playing clean behind him, it could be a different story. It's hard to judge. But again, some of the swings (Detroit) guys were having, it looks pretty good."
Gillaspie was pretty bad, and his 3 errors were the most in a game by a White Sox player since Andy Gonzalez also had the hat trick on Aug. 30, 2007.
First baseman Paul Konerko also made an error -- ironically, dropping a wide throw from Gillaspie -- and catcher Josh Phegley was charged with his eighth passed ball in 50 games.
All in all, pretty sloppy stuff, especially from Gillaspie.
"That's a little bit tough to deal with right now, obviously," Gillaspie said after his season error count swelled to 16. "I think in a day or two, honestly I don't think I'm going to remember two days from now that it happened.
"Obviously it was very difficult tonight and I can honestly say that's probably the worst I've ever felt playing defense.
"I can't say that there's too many days where I'm kind of hoping, hey, I hope the ball doesn't get hit. Tonight was one of those nights. If I wasn't human it wouldn't ever happen, but I try to stay positive and hopefully not dwell too much on it and come back tomorrow and practice hard and go at it."
Ventura, a six-time Gold Glove winner at third base during his playing days, isn't worried about Gillaspie.
"It would be one thing if he didn't care, but I know he cares a lot," Ventura said. "He's going to have to get over it. He's a young player, it's not easy, but he's going to come back. Everybody has a night like that."