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Marlins Today


August 16, 2009 6:50 PM

Game #116: Marlins vs Rockies

Land Shark Staidum - 7:10 PM - Josh Johnson vs Jason Hammel

BOX


Josh Johnson took a no hitter into the 7th on Friday and ultimately one hitted the Rockies. Backed by a key Dan Uggla homer in the bottom of his last inning and a good team game by Chris Coghlan, Johnson picked up his twelfth win in the opener of a three game series against the wild card leader and pushed his winning percentage to .864, the best in Major League Baseball.

Josh Johnson: 7.1 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, 11 K - Throwing straight heat rarely dipping below 90, he set down his first 12 in order before finally putting his first baserunner on via a walk in the 5th. however, he then came back to strike out his next hitter to tie a career high in strikeouts with nine. After Hanley Ramirez ended the inning with a diving catch, making us all think him recording the Marlins' second franchise no-hitter against the Rockies destiny. He set a career high in strikeouts in the 7th with 10 and should have ran that total to 11 in Garret Atkins' at bat but after getting squeezed by the umpire on what should have been strike three, he was forced to groove a fastball down the middle which Atkins put in the seats. He got his eleventh k a batter later and got an out in the 7th before his night ended. Johnson has been brilliant and the fact that he leads the league in win percentage, is second amongst Cy Young candidates in HR/9 and is fourth amongst them in WHIP proves it. However, he is ninth in wins and seventh in ERA, the only two stats that matter to Cy Young voters so unless something drastic happens like Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren, Chris Carpenter, and a few others falling off the face of the earth, Johnson probably isn't going to finish in the top five. With that settled, let's look ahead to something slightly more important: keeping him here. Johnson's current contract expires in 2012 with 2010 and 2011 being arbitration years so if the Marlins plan on buying his free agent year and keeping him in South Florida long term, it's going to have to be this offseason. In terms of dollar amount, it will probably be something close to what Hanley made. The Marlins may save a few bucks because of Johnson's injury past but it will be in the same range and a similar backloaded contract. Is Jeffrey Loria telling the truth? Is the payroll really going to increase when the stadium opens? Is he committed to this team long-term? Is he going to be willing to spend money at the beginning of the year again, not just when the marlins looked prime to make a run? here's his chance to prove it, by locking up a key defensive piece. along with Hanley on the offensive side, a Johnson signing would show fans a lot.

Dan Uggla: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 K - Two run homer in the 7th, to put the game out of reach. Even though he came into this season with career second half numbers well below his first half numbers, Uggla continues to defy the odds. After a miserable start to his season, he looks primed to finish strong. The homer marked his fifth straight game with a hit and his second five game hit streak already this month. His .804 OPS is tied for a seasonal high and is as high as it's been since June 6.

Chris Coghlan: 0-4, RBI, K - Drove in a run with a sac fly and he took one for the team, sac bunting a runner over to second to start setting up a sac fly RBI in the 8th. His hit streak may have come to an end but he had a great game regardless.

Renyel Pinto: 0.2 IP, BB, 2 K - Put into a low leverage situation in which he has a .192/.310/.301/.612 line against and made it a medium leverage situation by walking a guy. Thankfully he has lowly numbers in those situations too and was able to K Carlos Gonzalez to get out of it but if not for Uggla's homer that would have been a high leverage situation. In those, he owns 114 tOPS+. This should tell Fredi Gonzalez all he needs to know about when to use this guy.

Leo Nunez: 0.2 IP, H, ER, K - Put into a non-save situation with a five run lead and wound up getting a save after giving up four, proving how overrated the stat really is. However, stats or not, you want your best security guard (imagine that: a multi-million dollar rent-a-cop) on the mound at the end of a game so that a win is as close to a sure thing as possible. Lately, Nunez hasn't been that guy as he has a 6.49 ERA over the past four weeks, a span of 12 outings. Matt Lindstrom isn't the guy either. Over the same time frame, he has an 81.00 ERA in six innings. However, Brendan Donnelly has a 2.41 ERA in 11.2 innings.

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