Just minutes after Matt Garza went no-no on Detroit, I started looking at some of the gaudy pitching stats this year. While most of us know there have been some lights-out pitching performances this year, take a look at just how ridiculous it is...
No Hitters in 2010 - 5 (should be 6, Jim Joyce) (Most in a year since 1991)
MLB combined ERA is 4.14 - This number has dropped dramatically from 4.7-4.9 during the peak of the steroids era. In 2000, only Atlanta (4.05) and LAD (4.10) were below 4.14. This year, 14 teams have a team ERA of 4.00 or lower.
In 2007, Jake Peavy was the only starting pitcher with an ERA under 3.00. in 2008, 8 pitchers ended the season under 3 and last year there were 11. In 2010, 17 starting pitchers have an ERA of 2.96 or lower.
There are another 23 relief pitchers with an ERA under 2.00, including 4 that are under 1. Tim Stauffer for SD has a ridiculous 0.31 ERA, Kuo from LA is 0.84, Benoit from TB is 0.81, and Mo Rivera is still getting it done at 0.98.
Even with all this pitching, there is one guy that is clearly the best in the game right now: Josh Johnson
Josh has given up just 24 earned runs in his 20 starts. He has struck out 141 in 134 innings and since May 8, he has been '00 Pedro good.
13 starts with at last 6 innings pitched in each start. The only time he gave up more than 1 run was June 26th, when he went 8 innings, struck out 9, and gave up 2 runs and lost.
No starting pitcher has finished with a lower ERA than Josh's current 1.61 since Doc Gooden in 1985. Most seasons, Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Roy Halladay would be in an unreal race for the Cy Young. In 2010, the award is Josh Johnson's, and everyone else is on the outside.