MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 10: Josh Johnson #55 of the Florida Marlins pitches during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Sun Life Stadium on May 10, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
As the Marlins know all too well, opportunities are hard to come by against Roy Halladay. But when opportunity knocked on Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium, this time the Fish capitalized to top the Phillies 2-1.
In front of a gathering of fans large enough to allow Fox Sports Florida to actually air mid-week crowd shots, Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay lived up to the hype surrounding their pitching matchup, and delivered a duel to the masses. (Hey, when you're used to sitting in a smattering of about 4,000 fans every Two-for-Tuesday, 22,000 is masses).
A solo home run off the bat of Ryan Howard put the Phillies on top in the second inning. After the home run, JJ gave up a double to Raul Ibanez, hit Ben Francisco with a pitch, and walked Pete Orr to load the bases with nobody out. A mortal pitcher would possibly crumble in that situation, or at the very least give up another run, but The Beast that is Josh Johnson simply recorded three outs to get out of the jam.
JJ would get himself into another bases-loaded situation in the third, but once again pitched his way out of it to hold the score at 1-0.
The Fish tied up the game in the bottom of the third with a little help from Josh, who worked a one-out walk. It was the first time in Doc's career that he walked the opposing pitcher, and the Marlins took advantage of the free pass. Chris Coghlan doubled to move Josh to third, and Emilio Bonifacio delivered a sac fly that scored JJ and tied up the game.
Josh lasted through the seventh inning despite driving up his pitch count thanks to the early jams. He struck out Howard to end his night on the mound, having allowed just one run on six hits, while striking out seven.
After Mike Dunn took care of the Phillies 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, an error by Jimmy Rollins opened the door for the Marlins to take the lead.
Omar Infante reached base on the throwing error by Rollins, and took second when Halladay threw his first wild pitch of the season. Ozzie Martinez pinch hit and grounded out to advance Infante to third, and Chris Coghlan delivered an RBI single to put the Marlins in the lead.
Other than a walk to John Mayberry Jr. (in fulfillment of his contractual obligation to put at least one runner on base in the ninth), Leo Nunez closed out the game with little drama, and logged his 12th save of the season in 12 opportunities.
JJ's performance got him a no-decision, and two runs on five hits and nine K's earned Roy Halladay the loss. With that, the Marlins even up their series with the Phils.
No need to dig up any pitching rubber, Mr. Loria.