Johnson in line for Tuesday

Maybe there is something to this Coors Field theory.

For whatever reason, Josh Johnson didn’t feel completely right while laboring through four innings on 82 pitches on Thursday afternoon against the Brewers at Miller Park.

Looking to pinpoint what went wrong, Johnson thinks it may have had something to do with pitching on May 9 at Colorado. In eight strong innings that day, the 25-year-old right-hander threw 109 pitches, and he allowed one run in a victory.

But Johnson had heard that some pitchers in the past have struggled in their follow up start as their body re-adjusts after pitching in the high altitude at Coors Field. So that may have played a part in his sluggish outing at Milwaukee.

Johnson, who has had a lot of ice treatment in the past day, on Friday said he is fine, and he will make his scheduled start on Tuesday against Arizona.

The May 9 appearance was J.J.’s first ever start at Coors Field. Previously, he’s heard that pitchers like Tom Glavine and John Smoltz also made comments about their arms not being totally right in their followup starts after pitching at Colorado.

“Those guys said they felt terrible in their next start. They said it was like they were falling apart,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if I can blame it on that. It’s tough to explain, but there was no pain at all. That’s why I wasn’t worried about that.”

Johnson did his normal day after throwing off flat ground on Friday. He is slated to throw his regular between starts bullpen session on Saturday, and if that goes well, he is good to go for Tuesday.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said he has heard that sometimes pitchers have a lot taken out of them in their follow-up starts after pitching in Coors Field.

“I never liked to bring that up,” Gonzalez said. “But yes. It’s the start after the one [in Colorado]. Your body goes through so much to get through that altitude.”

Johnson felt confident he wasn’t hurt because he didn’t feel pain in his shoulder area. He said the sensation was more in his shoulder/traps area.

“I don’t know. It just felt like my ball was diving,” J.J. said. “It was difficult to find that groove. You’ve got to adjust or something. It feels good today. I’ve got no problems today. We’ll hope it stays like that, and move on”

— Joe Frisaro


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