Friday, June 5, 2009
...are in order for one Randy Johnson, who last night picked up his 300th career win against the hapless Natinals.
300 is a magic number for a pitcher. It's one of the most sacred milestones in baseball, and with the recent release of Tom Glavine, Johnson is now the only active 300-game winner. The advent of the bullpen and the increase in professionalism in baseball has made it more and more difficult to amass that many wins, and it is not completely ridiculous to say that we may never see another 300 game winner, at least not for a very long time, as it would take 20 seasons of averaging 15 wins to do so. In fact, the closest active pitcher is Jamie Moyer with 250 wins, and he is all kinds of ancient. 300 is such an elusive number, that you'd have to go all the way to Mark Buehrle to find the winningest pitcher who is 30 or younger and he has only 128 career wins, not even half way. The pitcher who seems to have the best short would be CC Sabathia, who at age 28 has 122 wins and plays for the Yankees, where he will undoubtedly rack up a lot of wins. Of course, that means that Sabathia will have to stay as healthy and effective as he has been for the first 9 seasons of his career for likely at least another 10 seasons, a tall order.
Simply put, Randy Johnson is one of the finest pitchers to ever step on a mound. He is second all-time in strikeouts. He's thrown two no-hitters, including one perfect game. He's a 10-time all-star, a 4-time league leader in ERA, a 9-time league leader in strikeouts, and a 5-time Cy Young award winner. In addition, he sported one of the most fantastically ugly sports mullets of all time for much of his career. While Johnson still has the stuff to stick around for at least a few more years, it is unlikely that he will do so. Obviously he will be finishing the season with San Francisco, but if this is in fact his last season, it will mark the end of the career of arguably the greatest left-handed pitcher in baseball history. About six or seven years from now, the Hall of Fame is going to have plenty of awesome first-ballot pitching talent with Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Congrats, Randy.