Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 6/10/12

Twelve starts into the season, Josh Johnson is yet to bedazzle us with a no-hit bid or double-digit strikeout game. If the season were to end tomorrow, all of the “There’s only one October” advertisements would become literal, and Johnson would finish with career-worst totals in earned run average and strikeout and hits allowed rates.  Barring a historical run, Johnson is unlikely to take home the Cy Young award this season. But one thing about Johnson that remains as true now as ever is his resistance towards home runs.

With 12 home runs yielded in 315 innings since 2010, Johnson is the starting pitcher (with 200 or more innings) least likely to give up a home run. Lower the threshold to 100 innings over that span and four names beat him out (Stephen Strasburg, Wade Miley, Carlos Silva, and Dana Eveland; essentially quadruplets). Yes, yes, we all know that pitchers typically have little control over the rate of flyballs that clear the fence, but this is for fun. Part of the fun is asking two big questions about Johnson’s home run totals; questions that, for the most part, everyone asks.

The first question goes like this: how many pitchers have given up more than 12 home runs this season alone. The answer goes like this: 14. You have old pitchers, young pitchers, left-handed pitchers, right-handed pitchers, American League pitchers, National League pitchers, good pitchers, and not so good pitchers. The only thing keeping this amalgamation from melting pot status is the lack of a knuckleballer. Alas. Here are those pitchers and their gopherball totals:

Tommy Hunter, Ervin Santana (16)
Phil Hughes (15)
Colby Lewis, Mike Minor, Gavin Floyd, Hector Noesi (14)
Ivan Nova, Clay Buchholz, Mat Latos, Henderson Alvarez, Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, Max Scherzer (13)

Now, about the second question: who hit those home runs off Johnson? These list always disappoint. Like, did you know that in 2009 Johnson allowed home runs to Fernando Tatis, Kevin Millar, Casey Kotchman, Garret Anderson, Garrett Atkins, and Miguel Cairo? (That would be a collective WARP of -1.2.) A somber reminder that sometimes dwarves defeat giants and nobody shuts up about it. Luckily, the 2010-2012 list is not as disappointing:

David Wright
Humberto Quintero
Willie Harris
Carl Crawford
Ian Stewart
Ryan Doumit
Andrew McCutchen
Jayson Werth
Ryan Howard
Chris Johnson
Michael McKenry
Melky Cabrera

Lesson learned: Johnson discriminates against home runs, but not against certain types of hitters when he does give them up. 

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Julio Jones may not play against Saints

What’s happened to Matthew Stafford?

Mike Tomlin explains gutsy late call with ‘Godfather’ reference

Sean Payton responds to rumors he might leave the Saints

NFL denies DeAngelo Williams’ request to wear pink all season

Arby's offers to cater Steve Spurrier's retirement party


The Cubs win Game 3 loudly, set MLB record with six home runs

Report: Steve Spurrier retires as head coach of South Carolina

Blue Jays push ALDS to Game 5 with 8-4 victory over Rangers

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Report: Big Ben wants to play, but longshot for Week 6

Ex-Celtic Terrence Williams denies ties to Louisville scandal

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How the Royals cheated death

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Clayton Kershaw: MLB "bullied" into Chase Utley suspension

Michael Jordan really likes Jeremy Lin

Texas governor makes embarrassing Astros flub

Ruben Amaro Jr. looking to become MLB manager

Steve Sarkisian fired by USC

USC enabled and snitched on Steve Sarkisian

Colin Kaepernick believes the 49ers could still go 12-4

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker