A Josh Johnson Slider You Can Just Keep Watching

All things considered — or just, like, one thing considered — Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson had rather a poor game Saturday night (box). He pitched only three innings, for example, but conceded two homers. And also ten hits, he allowed. And also six runs.

Another thing that happened in the game was very newly acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run in his inaugural Dodger plate appearance. And Andre Ethier went 4-for-4. And Clayton Kershaw struck out — as he does — struck out over a quarter of the batters he faced.

All of which is to suggest that there’s no shortage of readymade narratives for Saturday night’s Dodger victory over the Marlins. And yet, for those right-thinking readers whose main concern is to isolate moments of breathless and conspicuous genius, the story of the game might very well be Josh Johnson’s first-inning slider to Hanley Ramirez.

This first-inning slider, in fact:

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

7 Responses to “A Josh Johnson Slider You Can Just Keep Watching”

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  1. MikeS says:

    All mark and humor aside, it strikes me that one of the beautiful things about baseball is that this one pitch, no matter how magnificent, could be negated if Johnson hangs the next one and Ramirez goes yard. In that instance, if not for Cistulli, this moment would be lost. Like tears in the rain.

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  2. Bip says:

    3-2 pitches out of the zone always make me uncomfortable. That was clearly a nasty pitch, and in particular I know that a pitch that starts at the outside part of the plate and breaks out of the zone is one of the hardest for righties to lay off, but I always wonder how certain the pitcher/catcher feel that a pitch is going to induce a swing. Obviously the player’s swing rate, his rate of swinging on the particular pitch being called, his aggressiveness during the at bat, the previous sequence, and the count all play a role in that likelihood, and I think an analysis on how likely Hanley was to swing at the pitch based on those factors would be interesting, but I still feel like throwing a pitch and hoping the batter will do something is an iffy strategy.

    The fallacy is, obviously, that if he had thrown a pitch in the zone he’s doing it in the hopes that Hanley won’t crush it over the fence.

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  3. Sorry says:

    Carson, I’ve often thought of you as a douchey writer but this is beautiful post.

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  4. Carry On My Heyward Son says:

    I love your work, Carson. In particular, I feel like you’re largely responsible for the increased usage of GIFs here on Fangraphs. Maybe I’m just a visual-oriented person, but I get more excited about a post when I see that it has a GIF embedded in it.. In fact, right here in this moment, I’ve come up with a new acronym for blog posts: NGDR (No GIFs, Didn’t Read). Through your posting of select GIFs I’m able to enjoy baseballing exploits I wouldn’t normally be exposed to.

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  5. dp says:

    Thanks, Cistulli. I ruined my undergarments and won’t be able to escape my cubicle for another hour. It was worth it.

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