Don’t get me wrong.

Ubaldo Jimenez’ no-hitter counts for something. So do his major league-leading 14 wins. Same goes for Roy Halladay’s perfect game and major league-leading seven complete games.

But the pitcher who deserves the starting nod for the National League All-Star team plays for the Florida Marlins.

That’s right, the same team that rarely captures national attention unless the manager gets fired or it trades away a star player. 

Josh Johnson is the most dominant hurler in baseball during the “Year of the Pitcher.”

Ask the Los Angeles Dodgers, who failed to score a run on him through eight innings in a 4-0 loss Wednesday night.

Johnson did not allow a hit through the first four frames. He held the Dodgers to six hits and one walk. He struck out eight and lowered his earned-run average to 1.70.

For those keeping score, the second-best ERA in the majors is Jamie Garcia’s 2.17 clip. 

That’s 47 points higher. 

To prove how dominant Johnson, June’s NL Pitcher of the Month, has been look at the other statistics.

The 6’7″, 250 pounder hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start in almost two months. He’s given up four runs in a game only once all season, which was during the opener at Citi Field against the New York Mets.

Every Johnson outing since then has been a quality start. Over the 15 games his ERA stands at 1.38.

His 123 strikeouts are third in the majors, behind only Tim Lincecum and Jered Weaver. 

Although his record shows that he’s just 9-3, it’s not his fault. Until Wednesday night’s four-run second inning, the Marlins had scored just five runs over his last four starts.

During that span, JJ struck out at least seven batters during each of those contests—33 in all—while walking two.

Even more remarkable is the history attached to what he has accomplished.

From May 13 to June 26, Johnson went eight consecutive starts throwing at least six innings and giving up no more than one earned run. Only two other pitchers had accomplished that over the past 100 years: Bob Gibson (11 straight in 1968) and J.R. Richard (eight straight in 1979).

When Halladay pitched his perfect game, what got overlooked was Florida’s ace’s line: seven innings, seven hits, six strikeouts, one walk, and an unearned run in a 1-0 loss.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has seen the Marlins pitcher enough since his return from Tommy John surgery in 2008, which came in less than 11 months, to convince him.

And if all of this was not enough reason for the 26 year old to become the National League starter in Anaheim, the outing against the Dodgers closes out his half.

Last year when he made the All-Star team for the first time in his career, Johnson remained in the dugout because he had pitched on that Sunday.

Come Tuesday, it doesn’t have to be that way.


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