I don’t know what it is, but there is something this year that makes Josh Johnson more prominent than any other elite pitcher. Last year it was Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez, Cliff Lee, and whoever else that all the analysts were raving about. This year, it is hard to look past Josh Johnson. I feel like I should just create a template talking about Josh Johnson throwing five plus innings of no-hit baseball, and then re-post it every five days.
Complete dominance would not be overstating the kind of pitching Josh Johnson is currently exhibiting. He didn’t get the win on Sunday, but he certainly deserved it. Allowing just one earned run in seven innings, he exited the game with a 3-1 lead. His ERA is now 1.06, still the best in the majors. In five starts, JJ is 3-0 and three times has carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and four times to the fifth.
His counterpart, Ubaldo Jiménez was just as good. Through the first four innings, neither team had a hit, but in the fifth the Marlins’ patience paid off against Ubaldo, and drew the first blood. The Rockies’ ace had walked the bases loaded to lead off the inning, but settled down and got two quick outs before Omar Infanté ripped a triple into right-center.
After the Marlins went up 3-0, Johnson went back to work in the sixth. After two quick outs, he surrendered back-to-back doubles the first two hits of the game for Colorado. He got through the seventh without any more damage before he left the game with the lead.
In the top of the eighth, Clay Hensley allowed two runs ensuring Johnson a no-decision rather than his fourth win of the season. But quickly, Mike Stanton atoned for those extra runs by hammering his second home run of the year, a three run bomb to left field. Mike Dunn got the win in Florida’s 6-3 victory.
The Marlins are now 13-7 on the year; they’re still 1.5 games back of Philadelphia in the east, who won on Sunday as well sweeping the Padres in four games. The Phillies are first in the mlb.com power rankings, and the Fish are fifth.
Florida stays at home for the next series against the L.A. Dodgers before they travel to Cincinnati. Ricky Nolasco is pitching tonight for the Marlins.