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Josh Johnson looking forward to Monday night start versus Marlins 'post-season legend' Josh Beckett

Monday night's series opener between the Marlins and Red Sox doesn't have a catchy slogan yet.

Josh Johnson
Marlins Opening Day starter Josh Johnson, coming off his best start of the season, will face Marlins World Series hero Josh Beckett on Monday night.

But if it did an easy choice would be the Battle of the Josh's -- as in former Marlins ace Josh Beckett versus current Marlins ace Josh Johnson.

"It's pretty cool," Johnson said of the scheduled match up. "He's a post-season legend almost."

Beckett, 32, wasn't almost a post-season legend for the Marlins. He is a legend. 

He was the World Series MVP in 2003 and almost single-handedly beat the Yankees in the Fall Classic, tossing a complete game shutout on three days rest in the Game 6 clincher at Yankee Stadium. Before that, he helped the Marlins rally from a 3-1 deficit against the Cubs, tossing a complete-game shutout in Game 5 of the NLCS and then four solid innings of relief in a Game 7 victory.

By the time Johnson first got called up to the big leagues in September 2005, Beckett was wrapping up his five-year run with the Marlins. Shortly after the 2005 season ended, the Marlins traded Beckett to the Red Sox along with Mike Lowell for Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. But before Beckett was traded Johnson did get to spend some time with him on the field.

"He was pretty much the veteran guy here," Johnson said. "So I pretty much followed him around to see what he was doing and did that."

Beckett has never faced the Marlins in the regular season since being traded to Boston. He's gone 88-53 with a combined 4.04 ERA, 1,065 strikeouts and 316 walks and been selected to the All-Star team three times since being acquired by the Red Sox. He was the ALCS MVP in 2007 and has won two more World Series rings with Boston.

Josh Beckett
A fathead sticker of World Series MVP Josh Beckett on this Sports Illustrated cover can be found in the hallway of the press level at Marlins Park.
Johnson is looking forward to a big crowd for the game.

"It should be fun," Johnson said. "That's what we want. The more people the better even if some are Boston fans. Quite a few of them are going to be. That's alright as long as we get a lot of people here. The atmosphere is going to be good."

Johnson (3-4, 4.56 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season when he went a season-high 7 2/3 innings in a 2-1 loss to the Braves. He's 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 13 walks since May began. The Marlins are 6-1 in those starts.

"You never really have it figured out. But you can take steps in the right direction," Johnson said. "Last bullpen was good again. Hopefully, I'll just continue that and take it into the next start."

Comments

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Flagstafffishfan

Prediction....Beckett throws a 3 hitter and JJ gives up 5 in another loss.

Flagstafffishfan

Sorry a 2 hitter.

A Realist

How about, Josh Beckett throws a perfect game and Loss Johnson injures his elbow again? Oh no, we suck again.

To Hell With Fidel

Can't pitch, can't hit, can't field, can't run the bases properly or intelligently. Sounds like a recipe for a crappy team to me. Screw the Marlins.

DC Marlin

Does it matter how excited JJ is? Even if he pitches a 1 run 3 hitter, he is going to lose. We'll be lucky if we even score a run in this series. We are clearly the worst hitting team in baseball. We are on pace for historic ineptitude.

Coghlan and Buck have got to go. I would say try and trade them for a bucket of balls and bp bats. If no team is willing to make that trade, then we should cut our losses with these two losers.

DC Marlin

This team blows

Where Have You Gone deAza

I'm now watching the postgame show. Why does Jeffrey always look like he needs a chiropractor? I'm amazed there have been no references to Tommy Bahama. Oh My God!! They have Rosenhaus doing commercials!! if there was ever any doubt why I moved to Northern Virginia they have been disspelled. Drew????????????????????

Anyone ever want to go to a Nats-Marlins series write a note,however, you must know that I do sit close to visitor's dugout and am quite outspoken. A couple of marlins and I have exchanged glances. I'm not a FAN(atic), I'm a realist.

Alex

Anibal Sanchez shows once again why he is not a top starter in MLB. Whenever the team has needed him to step up and be that "stopper", he has failed miserably. Same thing as last June when JJ got hurt. Neither Anibal nor Ricky Nolasco stepped up to stop the bleeding. Who knows when this losing streak will stop?

Now it's up to JJ tomorrow. Can he be this team's Ace, the "stopper"? Well, that's what he used to be, but can he be that again? We shall see tomorrow. I will be at the game.

Alex

Sanchez has all this "good stuff" but he has no heart, no mental toughness. That's why he has never become a real Ace. Our starting pitching has been very good this year, yet we have had no real "Ace" of the rotation. That's pretty unusual, and it's the kind of thing that hurts during a bad streak like this because there is no "sure thing" starter that we can count on.

Flagstafffishfan

During the broadcast they finally showed Eddy Perez. Wonder if it's a sign of a change. Gotta agree that Cogs should be cut as soon as Boni is back. Once again deAza the chiropractor reference for Conine wins.

MLB.com

good you will be at the game...we'll look for the biggest, loudest jackass in the crowd

Where Have You Gone deAza

Dear Flagstaff, Do you actually live there? My family and I stopped there one morning for breakfast on a western trip. i was very impressed with the beauty and serenity. Isn't that the home of Northern Arizona. Is it necessary for Latino Diamondback players to carry around extra ID? I know if I'm Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers are paying a visit that I have a passport, driver's license and possibly a State Department emissary in the back seat.

That was a good point about Fast Eddie Perez. It's almost as if the Marlins broadcast team is getting direction from The Triumvirate. Once they showed him you can almost see the proverbial writing on the wall.

5 GB in 1 week!!!!!!!

your friends in Greenville

Hi Lou Vales deaza...

Alex

good you will be at the game...we'll look for the biggest, loudest jackass in the crowd

Posted by: MLB.com

LMAO! I must have really ruffled some feathers, Joe Frisaro! You know, even at 56 years old, I'd love to "meet you" sometime. I grew up in South Brooklyn, not Punksville.

Alex

Of course if and when they finally dump Eduardo, the MLB shills like Joe Frisaro will be the FIRST TO DUMP ON HIM and sing the praises of the NEW hitting coach. Yet last year when I was on the MLB board and I RIPPED the Front Office for firing John Mallee out of spite, that dirt bag Frisaro jumped all over me. Eventually Joe The Shill Frisaro got me banned from the MLB site because I started to re-write all of his fluffy press releases so that real Marlins fans could READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Frisaro is a paid PROPAGANDA WRITER. His job is to paint pretty pictures of the Marlins, not to tell THE TRUTH.

Real fans have to figure out The Truth by reading between the lines (and between The Lies) of his Press Releases.

Alex

Ok, here's something else you won't get from the Marlins website:

Before this season started, I said that the Front Office was taking a huge gamble this year on a player who has been very inconsistent over the years, Hanley Ramirez. They were betting the bank on Hanley being the Hanley from 2006-2009 again. In fact, the Marlins' Front Office's signing of Jose Reyes was also a gamble on Hanley regaining his form, because signing another "table setter" type of hitter only made sense if the Marlins had faith in the ability of Hanley & Stanton, in particular, to drive Reyes in after he gets on base.

Now take a look at how this season has gone. We had a poor April, and so did Hanley Ramirez; he batted .207. The team struggled to score runs and win games. Then came May, and the Marlins took off and had a very successful month. So did Hanley, batting .322 in the month of May. Now the Marlins are having a disastrous June. And so is Hanley, batting .172 this month, practically all of that in the first few days against Philly.

Now of course there are other reasons that the team has lost 6 straight and is struggling. We have talked about the bottom third of the order, and the general lack of good fundamental baseball. But the Hanley numbers don't lie. And they shouldn't surprise anyone, either. Your #3 hitter in the batting order is a key guy. If he hits, the whole line up generally does better than when your #3 guy is scuffling. That's just simple Baseball 101.

Obviously the team needs Hanley to return to his May form. Will he? I don't know. I'm not too optimistic based on his performance in recent years. He generally does not do well against really good pitching, and we have to face some teams that have good arms. All we can do is hope he turns it around. Or hope that others pick up the slack. Otherwise it will be a long, hot summer.

Flagstafffishfan

Hi deAza I do live in Flagstaff. Home of the NAU Lumberjacks. Grew up in MIA and was there in 93 for opening day. Flagstaff may be the only sane place in AZ and if I were a DBack I would definitely carry my papers with me! Lol. Watch almost every game and agonize as most of us do on a nightly basis. Still early but wow there are big time holes on this team. Keep the one liners coming they're hilarious. Think the Rays will give us a do over?

Flagstafffishfan

Alex has a good point about Hanley. He is inconsistent at best. Our #3 hitter, Hammering Hanley Ramirez. Last week I was thinking the Marlins were buyers, if we have another disastrous June. Could have a new look come 2013.

Alex

Thanks, Flaggstaff. It's really not rocket science; just take a look at the stats HONESTLY and without a stupid agenda such as "Defending the Front Office". Too many guys here have an agenda. Either they hate the Marlins or they hate Ozzie or they hate the Front Office or they WORK FOR THE FRONT OFFICE like those MLB clowns and Joe Frisaro, who gets paid to write beautiful PUFF PIECES about this team.

Me, I could care LESS about the Front Office! I'm not a Beinfest fan or a Loria fan. I'm a MARLINS FAN, and I will tell it like I see it. If it bothers some of you, GOOD. I'm not here to be popular. I'm here to talk BASEBALL.

"Now take a look at how this season has gone. We had a poor April, and so did Hanley Ramirez; he batted .207. The team struggled to score runs and win games. Then came May, and the Marlins took off and had a very successful month. So did Hanley, batting .322 in the month of May. Now the Marlins are having a disastrous June. And so is Hanley, batting .172 this month, practically all of that in the first few days against Philly."

Alex

Of course someone said that Hanley's not the only problem and the starting pitching deserves blame too. Here's my reply to that:

Of course other's poor hitting (Buck, for example, and Gaby & Lomo) have also hurt the team, but when your #3 hitter isn't hitting it hurts the team much, much more. He is one of the stars, one of the guys expected to carry this team! You can't put his failures on a par with Buck's or Lomo's. The numbers don't lie. When Hanley hits we win. When he doesn't we lose.

As for the starting pitching, they have carried this team all year. You can't seriously suggest that the poor hitting has not finally affected the way they pitch? How much fun do you think it is for the pitchers to know that they have to pitch a shut out or lose?

Alex

Hmmm...guys here think that Fox Sports showing Perez on camera lately during this horrid losing streak is a sure sign that the ax is hanging over his head. I hope they are right. The Front Office fired John Mallee last year not because he was a bad hitting coach, but because he made the Front Office angry over a personal appearance that he missed somewhere and because of of his closeness to Lomo. In other words they fired him in a fit of pique rather than for good sound baseball reasons. Oh oh, I'm sure the Alex haters from MLB.com are gonna get me now! LOL!

Davie Marlins Fan

Logan Morrison missed a meet-and-greet with season ticket holders, not John Mallee.
Mallee was prob'ly used as a scapegoat for the 7 strght game slump and for Helms, Hanley, Logan, and Coghlan's bad performance at the time.
MARLINS just lost its 6th in a row. By losing the next game against the MEDIAS ROJAS (RED SOX, in Spanish), MAYBE everybody's wishes will come true. Ed Perez fired. A GREAT and RENOWNED new hitting coach will be hired AND The MARLINS will have an amazing batting average OVER the rest of THE SEASON.

.

alexa... you want to meet Frisaro? He'll look for the ugliest queen that has the south Brooklyn smell about her/him. That'll be you.

Glags

Alex, this is a genuine comment/question and in no way shape or form an intent to mock your position. 1) I don't really believe that anyone here has an agenda of any kind. After all this is just a blog where people can talk baseball. 2) What exactly is it that happened (or do you think happened) with Joe Frisario. Joe Frisario, a shrill as he may be, I'm sure has better things to do than to single out one poster. Anything you post on a public forum is monitored by whoever is hosting said forum. MLB has a dedicated team whose sole responsibility is to monitor they're website. If deemed inappropriate sure it'll be deleted. Here's my question, you don't really believe that Joe Frisario had anything to do with you not being able to post on the MLB site, right? I sincerely hope the answer is no.

Flagstafffishfan

Just reading the first comment on the article about the sweep here on the Herald from a guy that doesn't blog, about his experience this weekend at two games. he said he won't be coming back and that he finds the team dull. I would be very worried from a business standpoint Mr. Loria.

"I don’t know if I can say it’s a part of the game or this is the way baseball is, or that’s the ball team we have. … We play well for a month and all of a sudden we kind of lost the touch, the big pitch or the big RBI. Hopefully, we can turn this thing around and play better.”

Ozzie sounds a little dejected and even concedes that this team may not have what it takes to get to the post season.

Loria's accountant

Loria worried? He's laughing all the way to the bank.

answer man

Question? Why, in the bottom of the 7th, runners on 1st and second ,none out, in a 3run game at home, did Ozzie let Hayes swing away and K instead of laying down a Sac Bunt,with Dobbs and Reyes coming up? Anybody???

Alex

Glags, those are fair questions. On the MLB website I would translate Joe "The Shill" Frisaro's press releases into reality, not the sugar coated public relations crap that he writes and he would get really mad. You may not know this, but Joe Frisaro posts there the same way we do here. Except he likes to sit on his throne like he is this great fountain of baseball knowledge except he isn't. I've been a baseball fan for over 50 years and the things I know about Mickey Mantle and players of that era I know because I LIVED THROUGH THOSE TIMES. Because I went to games at the OLD Yankee Stadium, etc. Frisaro would make statements that were just plain ridiculous and I soon realized that his "knowledge" about those days was FROM A WEBSITE. Which is fine, except if you try to ACT LIKE AN EXPERT.

We (I wasn't the only one who disliked Frisaro's way of TALKING DOWN TO GUYS!) caught Joe Frisaro in so many stupid statements and plain LIES that he started to get really, really mad. The madder he got, the more I made fun of his pompous butt, LOL. He started to make comments that "certain people should be banned", etc., and suddenly any post that I put up that was critical of Joe "The Shill" Frisaro was deleted. Finally one day I was banned.

I call Frisaro "Joe The Shill" because that is what his job is: to be the official MOUTHPIECE of the Marlins. The guy is no sports writer, not like Dick Young or Bill Gallo or any of the REAL sportswriters I grew up reading. Of course not; he is paid by the Marlins! They pay him to say good things about the Fish, ESPECIALLY their Front Office and The Triple Chinned Fat Man & The Poison Dwarf, and that's fine. But he wanted to be looked up to and liked and respected as "the leader" over there. Yet if an honest baseball fan said anything negative about the Front Office, he jumped all over them.

Frisaro is a paid LIAR. He's a clown who gets paid to paint a pretty picture for us Marlins fans, NOT TO TELL US THE TRUTH. When you read anything that Frisaro writes, it's like reading the old Soviet newspaper, Pravda. You have to read between the lines to find the TRUTH.

answer man

Ouestion? is Cogz out of options,thus exposing him to the waiver wire, a la Cody Ross, whereas the Marlins can lose him and get nothing in return? Cogz has been sent down in 10,11,and 12,since his 2 month career in Aug and Sept of 09.

Alex

Oh and one more thing, Glags. The ferocity of the attacks on me since I got here show that some guys certainly do have an agenda.

I have one too. I am here to blog about the Marlins, ALL OF IT, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am really sorry if my highlighting some of the bad and ugly aspects of our team pisses some people off, but I am not here to be liked. Like I said before, I'm a pre-internet guy, so all these attacks and "flames" or whatever they're called, only make me laugh. But it should also be an eye opener to YOU, Glags. Like why are these guys so bent out of shape by what I write? Obviously I'm pissing off certain folks BIG TIME, but why? What exactly is so objectionable about what I have posted here? Why do they go out of their way to "flame me" and make up fake names, etc? I must be really hitting some nerves, Glags.

Baseball Stew

at 60 games Marlins are 31-29 1 win above a .500 team. not good.

Alex

It also appears that the Front Office's cynical and insulting attempt to pander to the Latino community in Miami is not working. For some strange reason, Latinos are not breaking down the gates to see "Los Marlins, South America's Team". Of course this whole thing was destined to fail from the start; Latinos are not stupid, for one thing. The whole thing smelled like a slick marketing gimmick by two white guys that were really unpopular in Miami, Jeffrey Loria and David Samson, aka The Triple Chinned Fat Man & The Poison Dwarf. All their slimy attempts at pandering to the Latino community are failing as attendance is not what they expected.

This "Los Marlins" strategy even extended to the makeup of the team, stupidly enough. It was important to The Triple Chinned Fat Man & The Poison Dwarf that the team have a "Latin flavor". Hence the signing of Jose Reyes rather than oh, say a Prince Fielder, for example. It didn't matter that this team already had a shortstop or that they really needed a SLUGGER, not another table setter like Boni or Infante. Reyes was "salsa" personified and the image of him in a Marlins uniform made Loria drool as he imagined the Latino profits rolling in. Besides, Fielder is black, and Miami doesn't HAVE any black people, right?

Not only is the "Los Marlins" strategy not working at the box office, but it's not doing so well on the field either. The Reyes deal only makes sense if Hanley Ramirez becomes a big HR and RBI guy. If he hits like he did in 2010 and 2011, it's a disaster. Lo and behold, Hanley is batting less than .100 during this 6 game losing streak, and Reyes hasn't exactly torn things up either, so far. I hope he gets it going and I hope Hanley does too. Otherwise this whole "Los Marlins" strategy will be known as a ...how fo you say "BUST" in Spanish?

answer man

MLb attendance report through June 9th. Marlins at 904,280 and 28,259 avg in total home att. They rank 14 in MLB in total att. and 16th in average home att. Middle of the pack,just like their product on the field.

Where Have You Gone deAza

There is a perception across the country that South Floridians are "cheap" with their entertainment dollars. "Early Bird" specials do not really exist to that extent anywhere else in the WEstern World. And people must be aware that if they called it a "Late Bird" special with a window of opportunity from 10:00PM to 10:30PM that is when people would lign up. I've read in numerous sources that the Marlins actually have excellent TV ratings because they can watch the games for--and here comes the key word-- FREE!!!!!!!!!!! Now people will spend lavishly on homes, automobiles, boats but when it comes to sporting events the teams better be really good. And I don't really see anything wrong with being selective but in South Florida you better be "CONTENTION" good and exciting or they are not turning out. And if this team is as overrated as it "appears" to be, there is no way peoplle are paying past the All Star Game to walk around and take in the views and drop in at the Clevelender.

Alex, You have an edge and you care. People want you to care but not criticize because then you are not a loyal FAN(atic). You must remember that a good FAN(atic) never complains and blindly follows the tenets and dictates of his or her leader and are always supportive no matter the actions. We tend not to like FAN(atics) unless they are following collegiate or pro sports teams and then fanatical behavior is a good thing. I know it's crazy, but just remember you are suppose to be a Marlins FAN(atic).

Cant kid a kidder

Lou...why dont you drop the deAza moniker and use your real name. Your writing style and content gives you away to the experienced bloggers. Besides, we all know where deAza is and got your point by now.

Where Have You Gone deAza

I have always believed that EVERYONE should have the guts and intestinal fortitude to use real names on a Blog. The writers use their real names. I would gladly and without hesitation use my name on this Forum. I also think it should be a requirement everyone send a curriculum vitae to the newspaper to see if they have the credentials to post in public. If you read the one line garbage by the hit and run artists, it gives you pause as to where we will be in the next 10 years. I would like to think you should have some knowledge of the European Debt Crisis and not think it relates to the cost of tickkets for a Netherlands-Denmark match.


You guys want to make it a requirement to post real names? Let's do it.

Glags

Interesting. I didn't think he'd participate in conversations. I've always stuck to this blog and rarely do Clark or Manny interact unless it's to provide an update. I guess that would piss me off too.

answer man

If I was compensated for the info like the baseball writers and I'd use my real name, besides other than getting to do interviews and getting jock speak answers, I dont have to worry about the advertisers or any other agendas. How about you, Lou?

Flav C

Marlins has a good opportunity to find some runs in this series. Both Beckett and Buchholz have struggled big time against lefties this season.

On Buccholz
- His SO/BB ratio is 2.50 against righties and only 1.13 against lefties.
- Lefties have an .422 OBP against him, versus .303 against righties
- He's walked 8 righties this season, versus 23 lefties.

On Josh
- His SO/BB ratio is 4.29 against righties, which is excellent. Then it dropps to 2.33 against lefties.
- Righties have a .266 OBP against him, versus .318 for lefties.
- Righties have scored 10 RBIs against him, and lefties have scored 22 RBIs.

The teams that drove a lot of runs against them shored up their top of the order with lefties, to get things going from the beginning.

Basically, lefty hitters with good discipline at the plate have very good chances to reach base. With that in mind, for this next two games, i would tweak the lineup a little bit: I would move LoMo to bat #2 and would move Infante to #5 or #6.
There are some rational thinking behind this move:
Reyes is a switch hitter, he can hit left and he's been batting .324 with a .405 OBP in June. So bottom line, he will be on base, one way or another. Having Infante as #2, we will have one of the most undisciplined hitters in the team, with 3.4 pitches per plate appearance. Infante has only 7 BBs in the entire season.
By moving LoMo to #2, we would have someone with more discipline and more patience (22 BBs in 30 less at-bats than Infante).
On top of that, Infante has had his best results of this season batting 5,6 or 7. All of his HRs and most of his RBIs came batting at this part of the order. Since he moved to #2, he had no HRs and cut in half his RBI production. And LoMo has had the best results of his career with the Marlins batting #2
Also, Coghlan would need to start this game, being a lefty. Its a shame we don't have Boni, since he is a switch hitter.

Flagstafffishfan

I like the idea Flav. But were talking statistics which probably befuddle poor Ozzie.

answer man

Lomo had success in his rookie call up year 2010 batting second for 46G with 181ABS, a .320avg .433obp and 2hrs. The Marlins want Lomo to hit HRs and be an RBI guy, not a #2hitter. Maybe they are forcing Lomo to be something he is not mentally cut out for,batting 5th 0r 6th. Lomo only hit in the #2 hole 4 games in 11' and none this season thus far. Marlins should rethink their accessment of Lomo's hitting strengths and weaknesses.

Flav C

answer man, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. Having a hitter that has more patience right at the top of the order, has the upside of allowing the hitters coming next to see more pitches and adjust.

Glags

I thought this question / suggestion was posed and Guillen scoffed at the idea. Then again he started Cogz over Ruggiano. What a clown.

answer man

Ozzie scoffed at the idea of Hayes laying down an easy sac bunt in the 7th yesterday, with runners on 1st and 2nd with no out and Dobbs who is hitting .364wRISP coming up. Instead of trying to manufacture a run down 4-1 at home ,he let Hayes K. Dobbs flew out to left which would have scored Lomo at third as the throw would have been cut-off to keep Cogz at 2nd with only one out. Reyes grounded out to end the inning. Should have been at least 4-2 going into the 8th. What a clown.

Glags

Does Josh Beckett get a standing O when introduced? I assume people remember what he did during the WS.

laurelbowie

Glags,
Good question. Beckett should get a rousing welcome, but he probably won't, because Marlins fans usually just sit there picking their noses when fan favorites return. I was expecting Josh Willingham to get a nice welcome when he first appeared in an opposing uniform, but nothing happened. Even the return of Pudge and Cody Ross elicited only smatterings of applause. I expected a little recognition for the Hopper when he pitched this past weekend. But again, nothing. As a fan, it's really kind of embarrassing and I'm sure it makes returning players glad they got out when they did.

Flagstafffishfan

Yes.

Glags

I was at the last game at Sun Life and Pudge did get a standing O during his first at bat. He took off his helmet and waived in recognition. It was a nice moment. I don't know what welcome he received the first time he came back though.

Flav C

Lineup for tonight:

1 J. Reyes (SS)
2 D. Solano (2B)
3 H. Ramirez (3B)
4 G. Stanton (RF)
5 L. Morrison (LF)
6 G. Sanchez (1B)
7 C. Coghlan (CF)
8 J. Buck (C)
9 J. Johnson (P)

Infante probably getting a breather. He's been batting pretty bad of late, and with Solano in the #2 spot, we have good OBP with Reyes and him at the top of the lineup. Just a shame he doesn't bat left.

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