Don’t look now, but it’s not July yet and the Toronto Blue Jays are just 5.5 games back of an AL wild card spot.
That’s the result of the six-game winning streak that the team currently finds itself in, the last victory coming almost solely on the back of Josh Johnson, who put on what was easily his best start of the year with a 76 same score performance in the team’s 2-0 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies.
As for actually being officially credited with the win, though, the righty will have keep waiting.
Make no mistake though — this was the best Josh Johnson that the Blue Jays had seen this season. He flashed 95 mph heat through his 106-pitch outing that the Rockies just couldn’t touch and threw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a pair of walks.
In fact, considering that he allowed a walk and a hit in the eighth inning as the gas tank ran low, even the overall line is a little misleading when it comes to his success.
Oh, just one more thing: he stuck out 10 batters to boot.
Even more impressively than the double digit number itself was the fact that every single one of those Ks were of the swinging variety, as the 29-year-old positively cooled the Rogers Center by generating whiffs at an eye-popping 16.2 percent.
Perhaps it was the case that he got the unfamiliar benefit from facing a NL team (after all, the Blue Jays got just one hit off Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa), but given that he hasn’t made all too many starts this season and that teams have still been able to hit him hard the first time around, it’s hard not to give him the full credit for making the Rockies look silly all night long.
If Johnson’s last start against the Texas Rangers was a display of his inconsistency and how it’s hurt his results thus far, his outing on Monday night was an illustration of just how good he can be when he puts the whole package together.
Then again, considering that he now has a 1.86/1.14 ERA/WHIP and a 9.42 K/9 over the 19.1 innings that he’s pitched upon his return from the DL, maybe that’s already happening.