281 Down, 19 to Go for Randy Johnson
Randy Johnson (Getty Images)

Posted May 16, 2007

Randy Johnson achieved his first victory of the year on Tuesday night as The Arizona Diamondbacks blanked Colorado 3-0. The Rockies were held to only one hit and struck out nine times in six shutout innings by the Big Unit. Johnson faced only 18 batters in Tuesday’s outing and threw only 79 pitches in those six innings of pure domination.

When Randy Johnson left the game, the D-Backs were up by three runs and appeared to have the game in complete control. As fate would have it, this time they did have complete control. Tony Pena came into the game in the 7th and pitched thru the 8th, allowing one hit but no runs in his two innings. Jose Valverde came charging in the 9th by striking out two and getting the save.

"I wanted to get him out where we didn't have to take him out in the middle of a jam," Manager Bob Melvin said after the game. "We had a full compliment of bullpen tonight."

"This is only my fifth start in the season, why push it?" added Johnson. "I'm just hitting my stride. To think I'm 100 percent now is far from the case. I'm getting there, absolutely, and the results indicate that. But let me work into that.

"I don't need to go seven innings all the time or eight or nine. There will be nights where I need to do that, but tonight wasn't a night. It's too early in the year, and I'm getting to where I want to be, and I want to walk away from something feeling positive."

This is a very good sign of things to come from Johnson, who has 18 strikeouts in his last two starts. He is now 19 wins short of 300. Granted, Johnson is all ready a first ballot Hall of Famer, there is still something about being in that elite club of 300 wins. With the game being how it is today, starting pitchers are considered to have a solid career if they get 300 starts, let alone wins. (Johnson has 550 career starts)

So when will the Big Unit reach 300 wins? Most likely it will be the end of next season (Even Randy himself said so at his homecoming press conference). However, if he keeps pitching the way he did on Tuesday night, the sports world might just very well be in for a large shock as Johnson steals his 6th Cy Young of his career. It isn’t completely out of reach before the end of this year. He has thrown three quality starts in his five total starts so far this season. Who knows, maybe the D-backs get a little luck with the sticks and anything is possible, especially in baseball. We have all seen stranger things; after all, Luis Gonzalez hit 57 homers in a season after he was traded for Karim Garcia and $500,000.

Worst case scenario, Johnson is only 19 wins away from complete solidification. He will get to 300 wins; it is only a matter of time…

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