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The Same Name Game

Newest Met Ben Johnson has had an issue during his brief time in the major leagues that has blocked his future path to success. It looks like he gets a little nervous in big spots. How else to explain that he has 8 hits in 57 at bats with runners in scoring position? That's a .140 batting average (.114 in 35 AB in 2006), and let's also make sure to note the 21 strikeouts in those spots. That's somewhat troubling.

Let's hope he doesn't resort to the tactics of the other Ben Johnson during his Mets tenure, because that's already gotten one fellow affiliated with the team in trouble this offseason. Let's hope that Ben uses the offseason to refocus and channels his efforts to improving in a proper manner.

There's an indication that he can refocus and it comes from one particular minor league appearance this past spring. Thanks to the magic of archived game stories in The Oregonian, we can share the details.

Johnson was sent back to Triple-A Portland (Ore.) by the Padres on May 15th and you'd have to imagine he was a little disappointed. He arrived early enough to start in centerfield at home in that night's contest against Round Rock and had two early hits.

In the last of the ninth, Portland trailed 4-3, but an infield hit with two outs enabled Johnson to bat with two men on base. Batting against Round Rock reliever Travis Driskill, Johnson fought off one 3-2 offering, than crushed the next one, a splitter, over the left center field fence for a walk-off three-run home run. Writer Norm Maves Jr. noted that Johnson "sprinted" around the bases, which seems appropriate for someone of his name. Hopefully that's the only thing they share in common.

True Metkins Diet Followers Know...As for newest Middle reliever Jon Adkins, two of his four major-league wins have been earned in walk-off fashion. They came in an 11 day span in April, 2004, and both necessitated his team coming from behind to win in the last of the 9th for him to earn the victory.


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