J.J.'s quest for win No. 16
Photo courtesy of Robert Vigon/Florida Marlins
If Josh Johnson beats the Phillies on Tuesday in Game 1 of the double-header at Land Shark Stadium, the Marlins ace would join some elite company in club history.
Johnson is seeking to become the third Marlin since 2000 to eclipse the 15-win mark in a season. The 25-year-old is 15-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 30 starts.
The only Marlins to surpass 15 wins in the decade are Dontrelle Willis, who set the club record with 22 wins in 2005, and Carl Pavano — a winner of 18 games in 2004.
You have to go back to 1996-97 to find Marlins who finished with 16 or more wins. Alex Fernandez (1997) and Kevin Brown (1996) each had 17 wins in those respective seasons. Brown in 1997 won 16, while Al Leiter was a 16-game winner in 1996.
Last year, Ricky Nolasco finished with 15 wins. Josh Beckett (2005) and Ryan Dempster (2001) were the only other 15-game winners in franchise history.
Tuesday’s start also will have some financial implications for Johnson. It will be his 31st of the season, which means he will trigger a $25,000 incentive in his contract. Counting Tuesday, Johnson is slated to have three more starts this season. If he makes them all, he would earn another $25,000 in incentives for reaching 33.
– Joe Frisaro