While Josh Johnson’s early-season struggles are no doubt very alarming, we shouldn’t lose sight of the tremendous success of the other 4 men in the Miami starting rotation through the first month-plus of the season.
While their personal win-loss records don’t all show how brilliantly they’ve pitched due to several blown saves and, at times, a serious lack of run support, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez are all off to terrific starts.
How about this breakdown?
Josh Johnson: 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA and a .359 average against
Other 4 starters: 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA and a .231 average against
After Saturday night’s complete-game masterpiece in San Diego, Buehrle is 2-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a .252 average against with a nearly 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Marlins have been held to 1 or no runs in 3 of his 4 losses.
With his 68th career win yesterday, tying him with Dontrelle Willis atop the Marlins’ career list, Nolasco improved to 4-0 and lowered his season ERA to 2.72 through 6 starts, with opponents hitting just .235 against him. The Marlins are 5-1 in Ricky’s 6 starts with 2 blown saves (one by Edward Mujica April 13 vs. Houston in a game the Marlins ultimately won and one by Heath Bell April 26 at New York). The blown saves are the only thing standing in the way of Ricky being 6-0 in his 6 starts. He’s worked at least 7 innings 4 times already, has allowed 2 runs or fewer 4 times and has allowed 1 home run in his last 5 outings (31.2 innings).
Tonight’s starter Zambrano is 0-2 with a 2.53 ERA and a .223 average allowed through 5 starts, but the Marlins have been shut out in both of his losses, and he’s been the victim of a blown save in all 3 of his no-decisions. With any luck, he could have 5 wins right now.
And Anibal Sanchez is “only” 2-0 after 5 starts despite a 2.43 ERA and a .210 opponents average. He’s allowed only 26 hits and 2 homers in 33.1 innings, while posting a better than 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Anibal’s 10.3 K’s per 9 innings lead the National League.
If Buehrle, Nolasco, Zambrano and Nolasco can continue at anywhere near their current paces, and Josh Johnson can get on track, the Marlins’ rotation has the makings of being a huge strength in 2012.
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