Josh Johnson is keeping the ball down and pounding the lower part of the strike zone. Much to the hitters lament.
Baseball Analytics had this to say.
Back in spring training, there was talk coming out of Marlins camp that pitcherJosh Johnson(FLA) was tinkering with a sinker. PitchFX has yet to track any sinkers from Josh so far this season. However, he's off to a tremendous start with a 3-0 record in 4 starts, and a 1.00 ERA and 0.593 WHIP. Part of his great start could be due to his ability to keep his pitches down consistently.
Uh, no. He wasn't tinkering with a sinker. The pitch he was working on was a curve ball. But be that as it may, he is pounding the crap out of the lower part of the strike zone.
Go ahead and click on the link to see the pretty pictures. For some reason they always remind me of something I saw in physics lab while in High School. But maybe that is just me. Yes, I understand the presentation but still. they look like something from High School physics lab.
This backs up what Lee Singer of ESPN Stats & Info had to say. (Please don't be behind the pay wall.)
A. Johnson used his fastball to get ahead of hitters and then his slider to put them away. Compared to his starts over the last two seasons, Johnson threw his fastball more often before two strikes and his slider more often with two strikes. Forty-eight of Johnson's 57 fastballs were before two strikes, and 19 of his 25 sliders were thrown in two-strike counts. Johnson had seven strikeouts with his slider for the second straight start; his previous career high was five strikeouts with the slider.
B. Johnson kept the ball down with great results. Sixty-three of Johnson's 98 pitches (64.3 percent) were down in the zone or below it, well above his average of 48.4 percent since 2010. Eight of Johnson's nine strikeouts were on low pitches, and five of the seven balls in play on low pitches were hit on the ground.
When JJ stays on the downward plane, he is a monster.