Randy Johnson’s Countdown

Randy Johnson has not pitched particularly well this season, for instance see yesterday’s shelling at the hands of the Rockies. In fact, outside of Tim Lincecum, nobody in the Giants rotation has pitched well with their second best pitcher being Barry Zito of all people. Still, Randy Johnson is approaching history and if he can improve him outings and get some offensive support there is a chance for that history to take place in an appropriate spot.

Johnson’s next start, assuming the rotation as is holds will by May 11th at home against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are not in fact a poor hitting team, but the current slated starter for that game is Daniel Cabrera who has been so awful this year that even the Giants’ pathetic offense stands a chance to bat him around.

Following that start, Johnson will next face the New York Mets at home on May 16th. The Mets have a very good offense and worse yet, according to the current schedule, Randy will be taking the hill opposite Johan Santana. That is going to take quite a bit deal of providence to come out on the winning side of that battle.

So there are some long shot odds that we are dealing with. However, should the Giants, and more importantly in this case Randy Johnson, get wins in both of those games, then Randy Johnson will arrive in Seattle on May 22nd with 299 career wins. His home for a decade, the place where he transformed himself, and the city that has seen Ken Griffey Jr. return home might be on hand to witness Johnson’s first attempt at win number 300.

If it happens, it would be an interesting study to see where the loyalties of longtime Mariner fans lay for that game. There are some times that hometown fans are able to root for returning players to do well and for their team to still win, allowing for some leeway in rooting interest that I am sure some people still see as infidelity. This situation would be even more divisive since if one were to root for Johnson to get win number 300 in Seattle, that would necessitate rooting for the hometown team to lose.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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Randy’s been on and off this season, and really hasn’t been as bad as the numbers insist. He had one AWFUL outing, where he walked 7 of the 16 batters he’s walked on the year. Outside of that outing he has a 3:1 K/BB, but an absurd amount of homeruns allowed. His HR/FB% is 22. Normalize that, and his FIP becomes 4.09, according to THT’s xFIP. Not great, but if you subtract that one awful walk everyone outing, he’s under a 4 FIP. I don’t think the Giants expected anything better when they signed him.