The Big Unit is headed to Cooperstown. From AP-
Randy Johnson had to wait a while for his shot at 300 wins. The crowd was small, and the weather was wet. His performance, however, was more than worthy of the occasion.
The Big Unit hit the big number on Thursday, becoming the 24th pitcher to reach one of baseball’s most revered milestones. Johnson tossed two-hit ball over six innings, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals in the first game of a doubleheader.
Johnson allowed only an unearned run and threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes. He faced four batters above the minimum and got spotless relief from his bullpen.
He left leading 2-1 and nearly wound up with a no-decision. The Nationals loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Adam Dunn was called out on strikes with a full count on a knee-high fastball from reliever Brian Wilson.
Some of the few thousand fans who witnessed Johnson’s victory — the Nationals have trouble drawing a crowd for anything these days — chanted “Randy! Randy!” in the bottom of the ninth. When the game was over, he gave hugs to teenage son Tanner, who served as a Giants batboy, as well as all of his teammates. Johnson then tipped his hat to the cheering crowd before entering the dugout.
Johnson is one of six lefthanders to notch 300 wins. Another member of that exclusive company, Tom Glavine, was just released yesterday. For pure dominance, Johnson is the greatest lefty of all time. For consistency, Warren Spahn gets the nod.
Without a 300th win, there was little doubt Johnson would make the Hall of Fame eventually. He is arguably the best pitcher of his era, and that should have been good enough in baseball writer’s eyes.
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