Tommy John surgery didn’t stop Josh Johnson(notes) from becoming one of the majors’ top pitchers. After undergoing two such procedures, Chris Capuano(notes) is just happy to be returning to the mound.
Now the Marlins will give the ball to Johnson (5-2, 2.19 ERA), who has given up one earned run over his last four starts, going 2-1. He was on the losing end of Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay’s(notes) perfect game Saturday night, surrendering an unearned run in seven innings as Florida was defeated 1-0.
Johnson is 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in seven outings at home this season and has posted a 2.35 ERA in winning his two career starts against the Brewers.
There was a time, though, when the right-hander’s career was in jeopardy. He was limited to four starts in 2007, undergoing Tommy John surgery that August.
Johnson didn’t pitch again until July 2008, winning seven games in 14 starts that season. Last year, he went 15-5 with a 3.23 ERA, and he’s now on track to have an even better 2010.
Certainly, Capuano would love to follow a similar path, but he appears to be facing much longer odds. Two surgeries identical to Johnson’s cost him nearly 2 1/2 years.
This is Capuano’s first start since Sept. 28, 2007.
“I’m looking forward to … stepping back out there,” he said. “My focus is very much looking forward at this point. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the past couple of years. It’s nice to have my focus looking forward, hopefully to some good things.”
The 31-year-old left-hander won 18 games in 2005, and made the NL All-Star team the following year. He started 5-0 in 2007, but lost his last 12 decisions.
Capuano is 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA in six starts against the Marlins.
Florida has scored 23 runs over its last three games after being held to three or fewer in each of its previous five contests. Third baseman Jorge Cantu(notes) has led the Marlins’ surge, driving in six runs over his last three games.
Cantu has 16 RBIs in his last 14 games versus the Brewers.
Milwaukee had a strong performance at the plate to snap a three-game losing streak.
Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder(notes) added his ninth home run of the season and his second in two days. Fielder is hitting .381 with six homers and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games versus the Marlins.