Big Units quest for No. 300 at Safeco Field? Maybe
Greetings from Arlington, deep in the heart of Texas, or wherever, it is. In case you hadn’t heard, Randy Johnson won the 298th game of his career last night in San Francisco.
But that’s not what this blog is all about because I always look ahead.
The Big Unit, who basically started his journey to the Hall of Fame midway through the 1989 season when he was acquired by the Mariners from the Montreal Expos, just might get the first crack at his 300th career win on May 22 — at Safeco Field.
I kid you not. If the Giants stay in rotation, Johnson’s next start would be this Saturday afternoon against the Mets in S.F., and his ensuing start could be the following Friday night against the Mariners in the opener of a three-game Interleague Play series.
With Monday being an off day, Giants manager Bruce Bochy could re-arrange his rotation to keep Johnson on an every-fifth day routine and start him Thursday night against the Padres in San Diego.
But I really don’t see that happening, especially if Johnson beats the Mets on Saturday for career win No. 299.
It’s just too good of a story for the Big Unit NOT to start against the Mariners with a chance to notch his 300th win.
Johnson won the first of his five Cy Young Awards with the Mariners in 1997 — the year he also became a 20-game winner for the first time — and still ranks second on the franchise’sall-time win list with 130. Jamie Moyer is first with 145 victories.
While waiting to have lunch with former Mariners president/general manager Dan O’Brien and his wife, Mary Ann, I was wondering how the current Mariners have fared in their careers against Johnson.
It is sort of mixed bag, actually. Ichiro is a solid 7-for-15 against the Big Unit. Second baseman Jose Lopez is 4-for-10. Endy Chavez is 2-for-6, and Adrian Beltre has three home runs off Johnson in 62 at-bats. Beltre also has two doubles and 18 strikeouts.
Mike Sweeney is 3-for-25 with four strikeouts against the Big Unit; Ken Griffey Jr. is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts; Kenji Johjima is 0-for-3 but with no strikeouts; and Carlos Silva is 0-for-2 with one whiff. Overall, the current Mariners are 32-for-139 with three home runs, four walks and 30 strikeouts.
However, former Mariners third baseman and now TV analyst Mike Blowers was 9-for-16 (.583) against Randy, so guess I will have to have a little chat with Blowers and have him explain why he was so good against the Big Unit.
— Jim Street