Not much of a performance this afternoon by Josh Johnson, who was lifted after four innings. That marks Johnson's shortest outing since a 4-inning start on June 29, 2007 -- just before he was lost for the season and underwent Tommy John surgery.
Johnson's downfall Thursday was his inability to throw strikes. He threw fewer than 50 percent of his pitches (40 of 82) for strikes and ended up walking five.
The decision to pull Johnson appeared to be made abruptly after he batted (struck out) in the top of the fifth, as Burke Badenhop, who had been warming up earlier, resumed throwing -- only with a greater sense of urgency. Manager Fredi Gonzalez came out of the dugout to speak with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman, perhaps -- and this is PURE SPECULATION -- to find out whether Badenhop could be permitted extra warmup pitches? Marlins pitching coach Mark Wiley could also be seen conferring with Johnson inside the dugout. We'll find out soon enough what it was all about.
Update: Just learned from the Marlins that Johnson was not lifted due to injury.
Speaking of Wiley, he spent a good part of the morning studying videotape of Ricky Nolasco's abysmal outing Wednesday night.
"A work in progress," was Wiley's only comment on Nolasco's struggles.