Friday, June 5, 2009

Big Moments In The Big Unit's Career

As promised earlier, I've compiled a list(!) of the most memorable moments of Randy Johnson's career. It's because the internet loves lists! Plus the guy just won his 300th game, something we probably won't see again for quite a long time.

Anyways, in honor of Johnson's 300th win, I've made a list of the top 300(!) most memorable moments in his career. Not really, I don't have the time, nor the will power to compile a 300-item list. So instead, I'll leave you with a list of his top 10 moments of his Hall of Fame career, to date.

10. Bird-splosion! This would be ranked higher on this list if it was an actual accomplishment, or if it happened during the regular season. Instead, it's here for the mere shock value of, "wow, he actually hit a bird -midflight - with a pitch." On March 24, 2001 against his current team (the Giants), Johnson struck a dove with a fastball, killing it. The umpire called it a "no pitch." I call it jaw-dropping.

9. Triple Crown. No, not the Derby, Belmont and Preakness, baseball's pitching Triple Crown. In 2002, Johnson led the National League in wins (24), ERA (2.32) and strikeouts (334), becoming, at the time, the 23rd pitcher to lead his league in those three categories. Since then, only Johan Santana (2006) and Jake Peavy (2007) have taken home that honor.

8. Career Home Run No. 1. September 19, 2003 against the Milwaukee Brewers Johnson hit his first, and only, career home run.

7. League Domination. Johnson is the only member of the 300-win club to have defeated every single MLB team.

6. No-No. Johnson pitched his first no-hitter on June 2, 1990 against the Detroit Tigers.

5. 20 K's. May 8, 2001. Johnson struck out 20 Cincinatti Reds in the first nine innings of a an extra-inning game. Because the game went to extras, the MLB doesn't include it on the list of "official" 20-K games.

4. 4,000 K Club. On June 29, 2004, against the San Diego Padres, Johnson struck out Jeff Cirillo, for his 4000th career strikeout, becoming the fourth player in MLB history to reach that mark, joining Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton. He's currently second on the all-time list, in the 4,800-range, behind Ryan's 5,714. Johnson should become the second member of the 5,000 K Club.

3. Three World Series Wins. In 2001, while helping lead the Diamondbacks to the franchise's first World Series title, Johnson recorded three wins in the seven game series against the Yankees. In Game 2 he pitched a 3-hit shutout. He pitched 7 in a Game 6 win, and then came in as a reliever in Game 7... on zero days rest. For the series, Johnson recorded 19 strikeouts.

2. 300 Club. June 4, 2009. Johnson went 6 innings, giving up only one run on two hits, becoming the 24th player to join the elite 300-win club.

1. Perfection. Another exclusive club that Johnson maintains membership to. On May 18, 2004, Johnson became just the 17th pitcher in MLB history to pitch perfect game. He struck out 13 Braves in also becoming the oldest player (40) to successfully reach perfection.

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