During Miami's stellar May, during which it went a league-best 21-8, Johnson always gave his team a chance to win. The Marlins were 6-0 in games Johnson started during the month.
And during Miami's troubling 6-18 start to June, Johnson has been even better. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any of his four starts this month, but the Marlins are just 1-3 in those games.
Johnson will try to keep his strong month going when he takes the mound against the division-rival Phillies on Friday night at Marlins Park. Miami dropped two out of three to St. Louis, but won the series finale, 5-3, on Wednesday.
Johnson was dominant in his previous start, against Toronto, when he allowed only one run on two hits over seven innings. Johnson struck out seven and walked only two, but he got a no-decision when the game got away from the Marlins in the ninth inning.
"Just seems like we find different ways to lose," Johnson said after his last start. "That's pretty much what it boils down to."
Johnson, who is 4-5 with a 3.96 ERA, has gotten only six runs of support in his four June starts, including just one run in his last two outings.
The Phillies will counter with Cliff Lee. Still seeking his first win, the lefty is 0-4 with a 3.72 ERA. In four June starts, he's 0-2 with a 5.20 ERA, and he's allowed five runs in each of his past two outings.
"It's not like his stuff is not there, because it is," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said after Lee lost to the Rays on Sunday. "His stuff is there. He's very capable of pitching much better than that, we know that, but it's just one of those things. It's hard for me to explain that."
Marlins: Stanton accepts invitation to Derby
Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton confirmed Wednesday he has accepted an invitation to represent the National League in the State Farm Home Run Derby on July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp -- the NL's Home Run Derby captain -- recently extended an invitation to Stanton. The 22-year-old is hitting .274 with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs.
Even through their struggles this month, the Marlins insist they aren't panicking. Miami is in last place in the NL East.
"If we win four in a row, five in a row, we will be good," second baseman Omar Infante said.
Phillies: Bullpen in flux
Philadelphia made some changes to its bullpen after relievers covered all nine innings of Wednesday's 11-7 loss to Pittsburgh.
Veteran righty Chad Qualls was designated for assignment, while lefty Jeremy Horst's contract was purchased from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The club also selected the contract of righty Brian Sanches from Lehigh Valley after optioning lefty Joe Savery there on Wednesday.
The Phillies entered Thursday with the 28th-ranked bullpen ERA in the Majors, at 4.62. Horst had a 2.11 ERA in 38 1/3 innings with Lehigh Valley, while Sanches posted a 2.48 mark in 32 2/3 innings. Both threw a scoreless inning on Thursday in a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh.
After going 3-for-5 with a home run in his season debut on Wednesday night, second baseman Chase Utley was out of the starting lineup on Thursday afternoon, although he struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Utley played a Minor League game on Tuesday, and the Phillies plan to give him a day off for every two he plays until the All-Star break.
Utley is 7-for-27 (.259) with no extra-base hits and one RBI in his career against Johnson.
Johnson is 5-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 13 career starts against the Phillies.
Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison hit a pinch-hit go-ahead home run in the seventh inning against the Cardinals on Wednesday night, his third home run in the last nine games. Morrison is hitting .227 with eight homers and 26 RBIs.