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Katie bar the door: It’s Roy Halladay vs. Josh Johnson tonight

May 10, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

Johnson Halladay

I know that at 9:00 in the morning most of you are still looking back at last night’s action instead of ahead to tonight’s, but sorry, I can’t wait.  I’m rather excited about Roy Halladay and the Phillies facing Josh Johnson and the Marlins.

It was a little less than a year ago when these two faced off in what turned out to be Halladay’s perfect game. Lost in that was the fact that Johnson had a nice game himself, giving up only an unearned run in seven innings of work.  Also lost in that was the fact that the two faced each other two weeks later, with Johnson beating Halladay and the Phillies 2-0.  Further lost in that is the fact that it was Johnson, not Halladay, who led the league in ERA last year (2.30 to 2.44). Johnson was also right behind Halladay in WAR for pitchers (7.2 to 7.0).

Which isn’t to say that they’re entirely comparable. Halladay is the better pitcher at this moment in time, and I presume that approximately 100 out of 100 people would chose him over Johnson if Earth needed to win one game against the Martians in order to save humanity.

But the gap is smaller than you think, and with Johnson being six years younger than Halladay, there will come a time when he takes assumes the role of the NL East’s top dog.  Just as, with the Marlins’ youth and talent, there may very well come a time when they take that title from the Phillies as a team as well.

First pitch is at 7:10 PM Eastern.

  1. heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    And there will be hundreds of people there to watch the magic go down…….

    • jimbo1949 - May 10, 2011 at 9:38 AM

      Too bad it’s a little bit further south than DC.

      • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Judging by last night’s “crowd” reactions (via gameday audio), the smattering of folks in there were pretty evenly split.

  2. Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    “But the gap is smaller than you think, and with Johnson being six years younger than Halladay, there will come a time when he takes assumes the role of the NL East’s top dog. Just as, with the Marlins’ youth and talent, there may very well come a time when they take that title from the Phillies as a team as well.”

    And look who leaves out the Braves…. Tsk tsk tsk…..

    I have been looking forward to this game for days. Literally, for days now.

  3. jimbo1949 - May 10, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    You are assuming that Johnson will still be employed by the Scrooge a few years from now.

  4. phukyouk - May 10, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    so who’s better? King Felix or JJ? i still think i would take King over JJ in a one game playoffs.

    • Chris Fiorentino's Rash - May 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      You still have to score runs to win a game, so I would take the JJ and the Marlins offense. And if this one game play off is in Miami, I would definitely take the Marlins with JJ’s bat.

      • phukyouk - May 10, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        how does that make sense? you would take the better offense in a question about who is a better pitcher?

      • sneschalmers - May 10, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        CFR is saying that if the Marlins and the Mariners faced each other in a one game playoff with JJ starting for the Marlins and Felix starting for the Mariners, that he would take the Marlins to win that game because the Marlins have a better offense.

      • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        phukyouk – You asked two distinct questions (who is better, who would win in a one-game playoff), and he answered the latter. Obviously a great pitcher backed by a horrific offense will be less likely to win a game than a not-quite-so-great-but-still-awesome pitcher backed by good offense.

      • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        Unless by “one-game playoff” you meant “boxing match.”

      • phukyouk - May 10, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        I actually only asked one question and made one statement.

      • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        OK. Congrats.

      • sneschalmers - May 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        Well, in a one-game playoff it’s not just pitchers pitching to catchers… there are hitters there, too, whose job it is to hit the ball and score runs…

        And seeing how JJ plays for the Marlins and Felix plays for the Mariners, you’d figure that in a pitching matchup featuring JJ v. Felix, it would thus be the Marlins v. the Mariners… and the Marlins have a better offense than the Mariners, hence CFR taking the Marlins.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    “…there will come a time when he takes assumes the role of the NL East’s top dog.”

    It looks like you accidentally types an ‘N’ when you probably should have typed an ‘A.’

    ~an optimistic Yankee fan

    • heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      Hey wait, I thought that was Joba’s calling ;-)

    • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      I have always questioned the wisdom of including coveting as one of the 10 unpardonable sins, but reading Yankee posts here I am reconsidering. Maybe God and Moses were on to something.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        Nothing wrong with a little coveting:

        1) Mrs. Hamels
        2) Charlie Sheen’s weekends
        3) Mario Batali’s spice rack
        4) Ice Cream……
        5) Les Claypool’s bass collection
        And the list goes on and on

      • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Of course it is fun to fantasize, especially when harmless dreams, it’s just when it’s accompanied with entitlement, that the grating begins.

  6. dexterismyhero - May 10, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Hey Craig, you are sounding a bit like Florio from PFT.

    BTW: How many wins does Johnson have in his career?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 10, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      B/c wins are the best measurement of a pitcher right?

  7. dolphinphan - May 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    i for one, who will be in attendance have been waiting for this game for a week now. These 2 seem to bring out the best in each other.

    What the over/under? 1.5?

  8. jamie54 - May 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    National TV?

    • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Your best bet is checking for look-ins on MLBNet.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - May 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    In honor of my rash making its way back into the comments, I had to respond to this post by Craig. Anyone else have that feeling that this one isn’t going to be close? I know they matched up well last year, but I have a feeling that Doc doesn’t have his A game tonight. He’s won his last 3 starts, and the Marlins, which I like to break balls, are really playing well this year. Behind their ace, I have a sneaky suspicion that Doc gives up an early bomb to Stanton and JJ pitches lights out as the Phillies leave their bats back at the hotel. Especially after putting up more runs last night than the vaunted Braves staff that is head and shoulders above the Phillies staff, right? LOL. Whatever.

    Prediction: Pain(for Phillies fans like myself). And a Phillies 6-1 loss after the bullpen gives up 4 runs in the 8th and Ibanez hits a bomb in the 9th to break up the shutout.

    Cause if the Marlins don’t win this one…well, let’s just say the lights will begin to dim.

    • dolphinphan - May 10, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      marlin fan here–

      i was asked for my predictions on this series yesterday.

      while i will tell you i thought the phillies would win yesterday, i too believe the fish will take this game. i dont know why. I love Halladay, I saw his perfecto last year in person, I have him on my fantasy team, but for some reason, I think that the fish pull this one out.

      rubber match lee v nolasco should be entertaining as well

    • Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Reverse psychology, nicely played…

    • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      “Especially after putting up more runs last night than the vaunted Braves staff that is head and shoulders above the Phillies staff, right? LOL. Whatever.”

      About 75% of the people I have heard claiming that Braves fans think that their rotation is better than Philly’s rotation … are Phillies fans. It’s a stupid meme.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 10, 2011 at 11:37 AM

        42.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

      • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Sad to say, but I actually did go back and count the times I’ve heard this said. It’s a small meme, so the number wasn’t particularly high, but the this statistic is only slightly made-up.

      • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        Um…Craig said it in yesterday’s power rankings. So there’s that.

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/09/your-monday-morning-power-rankings-4/

    • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      If I were a Braves fan, watching last night’s game, I would be encouraged. Thank God, for tonight’s pitching match-up cause last night the Vazquez/Blanton exercise, should have been blacked out to any youngster’s who have hopes of one day taking the mound. Hopefully, tonight’s contest will live up to the billing. The Yang to Monday nights Yin. I would descibe it as butt ugly, but posteriors world wide would be correct to challenge the reference, as an affront to their rear.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Spud, the guy who SHOULD be the Phillies 5th starter pitched the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings and pitched very well, as he has this season. Sadly, the Phillies won’t make him the 5th starter because they are paying Heavy B 10 million this year and next. Worley is so much better than Blanton it is ridiculous…and he is head and shoulders above KK too, but if Oswalt doesn’t come back, we’ll probably see KK get destroyed this weekend.

      • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        I am with you on this one Chris, I watched KK pitch against us last year and his cement-mixer slider was like batting practice. I know he has pitched well so far, but can a return to form not be in the offing.

    • Ace - May 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      “Cause if the Marlins don’t win this one…well, let’s just say the lights will begin to dim.”

      Yup. I haven’t bothered to look it up, but I’d bet that no team has ever come all the way back from being 4 games behind the division leader and tied for the wild card lead on May 11 to go on and make the playoffs.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Turn out the lights….the party’s over. They say that all good things must end. Let’s call it a night….the party’s over…

  10. rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    “Halladay is the better pitcher at this moment in time, and I presume that approximately 100 out of 100 people would chose him over Johnson if Earth needed to win one game against the Martians in order to save humanity.”

    Call the producers of “Space Jam.” I just got an awesome idea.

  11. 2 Think Good - May 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Geez y’all can’t recognize Southern manners when you see them. We Marlins fans always allow ourselves to be out-rooted in the first game [and sometimes the last] games of the series, as a sign of respect.

    This game might be rarer than a perfect game. It might be played in under 2 hours!

    • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      So vaccuous Braves home games are the product of Southern hospitality?

    • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      Miami =/= the South

  12. wkinsomnia - May 10, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    42.6% of 42.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot. I have a man crush on Halladay, the man is brilliant to watch. I think Phils win tonight because the Fish have seemed to have had trouble putting up runs when JJ is on the mound this year and when Roy goes up against another Ace, he brings his ‘A’ game.
    Lastly, yes, I also wanted them to leave Worley in there to see how the kid does…but alas, we may not know for some time still.
    I’m just glad as a White Sox fan that we have won three games straight(albeit against the Mariners.)

  13. smarterthangirardi - May 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    holy crap… this might be the greatest matchup since andy pettitte vs john smoltz. For the sake of fantasy points and all things cake or pie, please let JJ pitch a perfect game and go 3-4 with 2 bombs and a walk

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