Marlins Today

August 21, 2009 11:57 PM

Game #121: Marlins @ Astros

Minute Maid Park - 8:05 PM - Josh Johnson vs Wandy Rodriguez


There was too much Wandy Rodriguez and not enough Josh Johnson on Wednesday night in Houston. Johnson struggled through just his second non-quality start of the year while Rodriguez pitched into the 9th and brought the Marlins' 10+ hit game streak to a screeching halt, giving up just four hits and a single run. The Marlins lost the series, two games to one marking the first time since the 6th of this month, four series ago, that they've done so.

Ronny Paulino: 0-2, BB - With Jorge Cantu out and because of the fact that he had a 5-8 line with a home run and four RBIs against Rodriguez coming in, he got a chance in the cleanup spot. Considering how Rodriguez was pitching against everyone else, I'd say that success continued. Paulino walked in his first AB to load the bases with one out, giving the Marlins a 65% chance to score a run, which they did, their only one against Rodriguez. In his second AB, he clobbered a ball that would have been a homer if it were hit to any other part of Minute Maid Park. Since ending a 3-36 slump on July 17, Paulino has been fantastic, going 15 for his last 40 (.375).

Josh Johnson: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K - Wasn't his night and the later it got, the more apparent it became. After three sloppy but scoreless innings, he gave up three in the 4th and one in the 5th before being pulled. It was Johnson's second non-rain shortened non-QS this year which ballooned his ERA to a robust 2.99. There's no getting around it; Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher and is going to probably go down in history as one of the best of the decade and a Hall of Famer. There's also no getting around the fact that he's going to win the Cy Young this year. But if voters looked at more than just raw stats, there would be. This loss for Johnson dropped him to 12-3, the same record as Lincecum. But when you look at who the bulk of Johnson's dozen have come against compared to Lincecum's, it's a whole 'nother ball game. Lincecum and Johnson have each won six games each against .500+ teams but the quality of winning teams Johnson has beaten has been much better. He has beaten four of the best teams in baseball, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Phillies (twice) and Yankees. He has also trounced the wild card leading Rockies twice and the second place Braves once. The average winning team JJ has beaten has a 70-51 record. The average winning record Lincecum has beaten is 66-54.

Cristhian Martinez: 2.2 IP, 2 K - Picked Johnson up with two and two thirds perfect innings out of the pen. Since his return to the majors, Martinez has thrown 4.2 innings, given up one hit, and struck out six. Martinez has been a full time starter in AA this year. He's posted impressive numbers there: 9-3 with a 2.94 ERA, 62 strikeouts and 22 walks. Should his success in long relief continue and should Sean West's struggles continue, Martinez could play himself into a rotation spot.

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