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Josh Johnson brilliant before exiting with finger injury

Jul 23, 2012, 10:28 PM EDT

Ozzie Guillen, Josh Johnson Getty Images

Josh Johnson appeared well on his way to turning in his best start of the season Monday, pitching six innings of one-hit ball against the Braves before leaving with skin irritation on his right middle finger.

The Marlins went on to win 2-1.

It sounds like Johnson got out early enough before a nasty blister could form, so he’s expected to make his next start. The right-hander doesn’t have a history of blister problems.

Since he’s making $13.5 million next year, Johnson is an obvious candidate to be sent packing by the Marlins in the wake of Monday’s Anibal Sanchez deal. The 28-year-old had been struggling of late, allowing 14 runs over 16 1/3 innings in his previous three starts. That stretch took his ERA from 3.80 to 4.35. However, he was on his game tonight. He struck out nine and walked none before departing. At 87 pitches, he probably would have thrown one more inning if not for the blister.

“Josh Johnson was about as unhittable as I’ve ever seen,” Chipper Jones said afterwards. “He was dominate J.J. tonight”

The Red Sox and Angels are among the teams believed to be interested in Johnson.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    He definitely pitched like someone who saw that big iron-bolted oaken door way up at the top of the dungeon stairs open a little and admit a sliver of light, didn’t he?

  2. jon623 - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    What HAVEN’T the Angels been interested in? But it really does suck to see him come out when he was throwing so great. That’s a bummer.

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