Josh Johnson Missing Bats, Throwing Fast
Five days ago, the alarm bells were ringing over Josh Johnson's "diminished" velocity. On Tuesday, it was home plate ump Larry Vanover doing the ringing.
Johnson punched out eight over seven innings of work and, more importantly, was throwing in the 93-94 range for pretty much the whole night.
As told here by Chris Toman, Johnson's low velocity last week against the Tigers was more circumstance than substance and wasn't anything to be concerned over. Additionally, Johnson's offspeed stuff looked solid in his first start, and it was only a matter of time (it is still April, after all) before Toronto would get some return back from their offseason acquisition.
He began that process against the White Sox, baffling hitters with his curveball and slider while keeping them honest with an average four-seam speed of 94.20 mph.
But enough talking, how about some showing.
Facing his first batter of the game, Johnson gave a sign of things to come. He made Alejandro De Aza look silly twice during the at-bat, including on this 86 mph slider.
Truth be told, Johnson made a lot of White Sox look silly so it was basically pick your poison - curveball or slider.
Adam Dunn opted for the former, getting way out front of an 80 mph curve.
Both offspeed pitches were rather effective against Chicago, according to Brooks Baseball, and as far as usage he threw them at just about the same frequency, 23 sliders to 19 curves.
More swing and miss GIFs below but first back to that whole velocity thing.
As this graphic from Brooks Baseball illustrates, not only did Johnson throw a lot of fastballs in the 93-94 mph range (a couple 95s in the first, too), he was doing it right up until his final pitches of the game.
Back to the filth, which can be seen on full display in the form of this 79 mph curveball to Dayan Viciedo.
And finally, this 90 mph slider to Alex Rios. It was one of those nights for White Sox hitters. Even Paul Konerko said he felt like the White Sox got away with one.
Fortunately for Blue Jays fans, it was one of those typical nights for Josh Johnson, too.
h/t Brooks Baseball for stats