In Josh Johnson’s fourth start of the year, I was thoroughly convinced that he’s locked in. In three of these starts he has carried a no-hitter into or past the fifth inning, and twice into the seventh. He hasn’t allowed a hit in the first or second inning this year at all, setting up the Marlins for victory. Allowing just three earned runs so far, Johnson is currently posting a 1.00 ERA, best in the National League.
So on Tuesday night, Josh Johnson collected six strikeouts through the first four innings, and nine total for the night. He threw his fastball consistently at 95 mph, and a curveball in the low 80s. He carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and went seven for a win over the Pirates. On the other side of the plate, JJ picked up a pair of RBIs for the Fish in their 6-0 win.
In the fourth inning, the Marlins offense lit up. Mike Stanton and John Buck doubled respectively to lead off the inning. After a Bonifacio single and Chris Coghlan’s walk, the bases were loaded. With two outs, and the bases still loaded, Hanley Ramirez walked, which was followed by a bloop 2-run single by Gaby Sanchez.
The Marlins are still second in the NL East, trailing the Phillies. The Phillies won their day game against Milwaukee to increase their lead to one game over the Fish, but if Florida wins tonight it will be back down to a half game.
Ricky Nolasco takes the mound Wednesday night against Pittsburgh looking to go 2-0.