Johnson retired after the 2009 season ... Correct. However, Johnson is one of my starters as I replay the M's 2014 schedule using the team's all-time greats. So in addition to Johnson on the mound, Ken Griffey Jr. is taking care of centerfield, and Edgar Martinez has the DH duties covered.
As you might expect, playing the Mariners greats has resulted in an above-average number of victories, including 12-straight on the current win streak! As of April 20, 2014, the Mariners stand at 16-2, after a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins.
Johnson highlighted the series with his no-no in game two, a 5-0 win. In holding the Marlins hitless, Johnson piled up 12 strikeouts, while walking only five batters. He struck out the side in both the fourth and the seventh innings. Giancarlo Stanton went down swinging three times, as did catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (I just love to say and type that guy's last name ...).
Johnson was aided in the victory by a trio of home runs: a two-run blast by first baseman Alvin Davis in the second; a solo homer by Martinez in the fourth; and another two-run smash by Griffey in the fifth.
The Marlins offense struggled, to say the least. The day before, Jaime Moyer held them to a single hit while striking out 15! Leadoff hitter Christian Yelich fell victim to Moyer by striking out four times.
With a team batting average of .284 and an ERA of 2.77, it's not hard to believe the M's good fortune, so far.
Johnson's no-hitter improved his record to 3-0 with a 1.34 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 33-plus innings. King Felix Hernandez has been equally effective, matching Johnson's 3-0 record with a 1.75 ERA and 39 K's in 36 innings over four starts.
This replay got started when I wondered how many wins might Felix have had last year if given some offense. So I surrounded The King with the best the Mariners could muster, and the results are evident.
Ichiro Suzuki is batting .342 in the leadoff spot, with 11 runs scored and 10 RBI. He's followed by second baseman Robinson Cano (.286, 9 runs, 13 RBI); Griffey (.231, 15 runs, 8 RBI); Martinez (.435, 13 runs, 12 RBI) and third baseman Adrian Beltre (.352, 11 runs, 13 RBI). Beltre leads the team in home runs with six, followed by Griffey with four, and Davis, Cano and Jay Buhner with three apiece.
Hernandez is pitching the same games in the replay that he did in real-life during 2014, including facing the actual lineups of his opponents. For the rest of the games, I've filled in Johnson and the rest of the starters against the lineups/pitchers the Mariners faced last year. I'll be limiting pitchers to actual innings pitched and batters to their actual ABs.
For complete stats, click here.