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Johnson as cool as he is hot

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Johnson as cool as he is hot

Right-hander Josh Johnson is one of baseball's hottest pitchers, but it's his cool demeanor that has impressed manager Edwin Rodriguez.

Johnson, who leads the NL with a 0.88 ERA, was in line for a win Saturday night after throwing seven scoreless innings in Cincinnati.

But the bullpen blew the lead in a game the Marlins went on to lose. It was the second time in as many starts that Johnson left with a lead that the bullpen blew -- something that happened to Johnson seven times last year.

"I mean, if it would've been me, I would have been throwing things all over the clubhouse," Rodriguez said Sunday.

"I have been very, very impressed with JJ not for the obvious things -- everybody knows about his ability to pitch. It's the way he approaches the game and the way he controls his emotions. He's the whole package."

Johnson (3-0) passed Nolan Ryan in the record books by allowing 18 hits over 41 innings in his first six starts, the fewest hits allowed in the modern era before May 1. Ryan set the previous record in 1978, allowing 19 hits over 41 innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Saturday's game stung more because the Marlins were four outs away before it unraveled.

"We've got to win that game. We just couldn't find a way to do it. We need to win that game, though," Johnson said. "Give them time. They'll be fine."

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