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Josh Johnson quietly moves past Ubaldo Jimenez as the first half's top pitcher

Jul 8, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

Ubaldo Jimenez dominated the early season headlines, and rightfully so, but three straight poor starts have bumped his ERA from 1.15 to 2.27 and now Josh Johnson is the only starter in baseball with a sub-2.00 mark.
Johnson still can’t compete with Jimenez’s attention-grabbing win total, but after shutting out the Dodgers for eight innings yesterday he’s now 9-3 with a 1.70 ERA, .203 opponents’ batting average, and 123/28 K/BB ratio in 122 innings.
He’s reeled off 16 straight Quality Starts and has allowed just seven earned runs in his last 79 innings for a 0.80 ERA. And last night Johnson improved to 33-0 in his career when the Marlins’ lineup provides him with at least four runs of support.
My guess is that Jimenez will get the starting nod for the National League in the All-Star game because of his MLB-leading 14 wins and incredible amount of early attention, but Johnson has been the best pitcher in baseball this season and may be the most underrated ace in the game. Since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery in mid-2008 he’s 31-9 with a 2.86 ERA in 418.1 innings.

  1. birdmancometh - Jul 8, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    No doubt. Very good article. That whole team is overrated….and they wear purple.

  2. Chad Anderson - Jul 8, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    That’s 15-1 now, 8 innings, 1 run, 3 hits against the Cards. Not since Prince has a man looked to good in Purple.

  3. rx - Jul 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Yeah, way overrated. Especially since, outside of Jimenez and Helton, most people can’t name 3 other players on the team.

  4. Old Gator - Jul 8, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Problem is, the Feesh have among the worst fielding percentages in MLB and, even though they’ve improved a bit since their hardcore stumblebum antics of April and May, they still don’t give Johnson a lot of support. At the moment I’m in New York (listening to the imbecile apoplexy of Heat fans calling in and being egged on by equally idiotic hosts on WFAN, all of whose exaggerated sense of Nyorcan entitlement was violated foully when LeBron James decided to sign for lots of money in a state with no state income tax) so I don’t have my little Feesh cheat sheet handy but if you throw in some decent fielding and a little bit of run support, Johnson could easily be a 14-game winner by now. But that’s OK. Josh will stand out more clearly when Scrooge McLoria begins stripping clean the field around him in time for the July 31 trade deadline. The last time there was a dump as big as the one we’re facing down here, Godzilla took it, and you couldn’t eat the sardines in Tokyo Harbor for a month.

  5. kackle20 - Jul 9, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    the rockies arent overrated! they have a legit team and still they can win without tulo in the lineup. none of you have any knowledge of the game of baseball. you are judging a team that wears purple? thats your only problem with them? oh and rx heres a few rockies players. giambi, olivo,spilbourghs, car-go, hawpe, seth smith, ian stewart, chris ianetta. enough said about that. might i say the rockies have struggled with numerous injury problems with all of their pitchers except ubaldo and theyre still winning games. when all of you know anything about baseball then we’ll talk.

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