Johnson looking for Stability more than Milestones
Randy Johnson may have picked up his 297th win after seven shut-out innings against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night but although he stands to become the 24th pitcher to get to the 300-win mark, that isn’t the first thing on his mind.
The San Francisco Giants won its 8th game out of 10 to take it to the second spot in the National League standings. Despite the effort, Johnson is adamant that the milestone is not more important for him and getting comprehensive wins like the one against the Rockies is what appeals to him more. The Rockies only managed 4 singles, had nine strikeouts and no walks against a possessed Johnson on Friday night.
“You pick up the newspaper tomorrow and you wouldn’t know whether I was 45 or 25. That’s the beauty of this game,” Johnson said. “It’s really what I strive for and it’s what I’ve been about. I’m not here just to win five games [the number of victories he needed for 300 when the season began] and be a question mark every fifth day.”
Johnson has been known to be quite harsh when it comes to criticizing his own game. Johnson only pitched for 3 and one-third innings against Arizona while walking seven, before the Rockies game. Even before that, he pitched a no-hitter for six innings against the Diamondbacks and ended the game with just one hit in seven innings. But this was after another 3 and two-third inning, seven run mauling at the hands of the Dodgers.
“What I have noticed … is that at age 45, I’m not able to have those [dominant] games back to back to back to back,” Johnson said. “… The consistency, I’m hoping, is there. But after five starts, I’ve really been pleased with only a couple of my games.”
The new schedule of pitching every five days is something that Johnson believes, will suit his age and fitness more. This should be the steadying factor at a time when the hype seems to be around his 300th win, a feat that Johnson is desperately and unsuccessfully trying to downplay.
“Of course I do,” said closer Brian Wilson when asked about whether he feels a sense of history in the making here. Wilson said, “You get a little sense of urgency and I want to get in there and shut this game down for him right now. Hopefully I can keep closing them out for him to 300.”
Johnson had spent Thursday’s day-off with the Livermore High School varsity and junior teams. “That was a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “But as soon as I got home last night, I realized that I really kind of need to get going here.”
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