On Thursday, Randy Johnson became the first pitcher to get his 300th win on his first try since Tom Seaver did it in 1985.
06/05/2009 12:51 PM ET
Randy Johnson flies to milestone
Lefty gets No. 300 on first attempt
Johnson, 45, allowed just two hits in six innings, leaving with a 2-1 lead in what would become a 5-1 victory over the Nationals on Thursday.
"Some of the guys in the locker room have seen a lot in the last few years with [Barry Bonds'] accomplishments and this accomplishment," Johnson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think I'm happy that it happened early enough. Like I said all along, I'm not here just to win five games. I'm here to help turn this team around."
"It sounds funny," Johnson said, "but I've played 21, 22 years. I'm 45 and I've come upon 300 wins and I'm thinking, 'I only have 211 more to catch Cy Young.'"
Oswalt impressed by Johnson's feat: Roy Oswalt was among those impressed with Randy Johnson's earning his 300th career victory.
"As a guy who's been around for a while now, 300 wins is a lot," Oswalt told the Houston Chronicle. "You got to have a lot of things go your way. He's the type of pitcher that, if you put him in a situation to where he can win, he's going to win.
"He doesn't beat himself. I think that's the biggest thing about 300-win guys. They don't beat themselves out on the mound. They seem to be aggressive the whole game and get deep into games. A lot of guys that don't get wins seem to fade out in the sixth inning."
Greinke limiting the long ball: Heading into his start against Toronto on Friday, Zack Greinke (8-1, 1.10 ERA) has not allowed a home run in his last 110 innings pitched.
"To go this long, it's impossible without a bunch of luck," Greinke told MLB.com. "It's kind of like a no-hitter. You need a lot of luck to do a no-hitter, and you need a lot to do what's happened with me right now."
Anderson shares victory with his dad: With his father watching him pitch in the Majors for the first time, A's rookie Brett Anderson had his best performance of the season.
Anderson blanked the White Sox over seven innings, and the A's won, 7-0 win. After the game, the rookie spent time with his dad, Oklahoma State baseball coach Frank Anderson.
"Not too many kids got to grow up like I did," Brett Anderson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I was a field rat -- around the field every day since I could walk and talk. Him being a coach probably is the key factor for me being in the big leagues. Seeing some of his players reach the big leagues and have success -- now I can share that. It's special."
One at-bat started Upton's surge: Justin Upton was named the National League Player of the Month for May. Upton hit .373 with a .709 slugging percentage, eight doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 21 RBIs in the month.
Upton believes his success traces back to an April 14 game against St. Louis. Down 0-2 in the count, he fought back to make it 3-2 and then reached base by getting hit by a pitch.
"That kind of got me into the mindset I'm in now, which is that I'm not worrying about mechanics," Upton told MLB.com. "In that, at-bat I was just worried about getting on base, and I forgot everything mechanically, and I actually felt comfortable at the plate. Letting my athletic ability take over is going to be big for me, and not worrying so much about the result. Just focusing on having a good at-bat."
Gonzalez shows range of power: Adrian Gonzalez has hit a Major League-leading 22 home runs, with 11 of them going to the opposite field and only six to right field.
"It's a Catch-22 when a guy can do that," Padres manager Bud Black told MLB.com. "If you come inside, he can hit it out to right field. If you go outside, he can take you out to left field. I think you're seeing pitchers try to sink the ball down and away. But, even if you do that, he's still able to get it."
Niemann posts memorable victory: Jeff Niemann got a standing ovation from fans after he threw a two-hit shutout against Kansas City on Wednesday.
"It was great," Niemann told the St. Petersburg Times. "I hope to get that feeling, remember what it feels like and strive for that every time out."
"That was really fun to watch -- totally dominant from the very first inning," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Beckham elated with promotion: After picking up three hits on Wednesday night for the White Sox' Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, Gordon Beckham was called into manager Chris Chambliss' office and informed he'd been called up to Chicago.
"It was an unbelievable moment for me," the third baseman told the Chicago Tribune. "I couldn't even describe it. It's one of those things where you think about it a lot, but you don't understand what it really feels like until you get called up, until they sit you down and say you are going to the big leagues. It's one of those feelings I'll never forget, for sure."
Sherrill plans to chalk up more saves: George Sherrill, who has converted his last seven saves, looks forward to even more opportunities as the O's improve.
"We're only a third of the way through the season," Sherrill told MLB.com. "I give myself a B, I guess, for the first third of the year. We've still got a long way to go. I'm just happy we're starting to win, because that gives me a chance to play. ... I just want to get out there as many times as I can and give us a chance to win."
Kubel on track with pair of homers: Jason Kubel got back on track at the plate on Thursday by smashing a pair of three-run homers the Twins' 11-3 victory.
"Since beginning of the season, I've had a real good feeling [at the plate]," Kubel told MLB.com. "That hasn't faded, except for the past five, six games have been a little rough. Now I'm right back to where I want to be."
Martinez brings speed to lineup: Mets manager Jerry Manual likes having 20-year-old top prospect Fernando Martinez on the club's roster.
"In a long summer, that kind of energy can help you win games," Manuel told MLB.com. "We're not the same team we thought we would be without Carlos [Delgado]; we need to do things differently. [Martinez] gives us more speed. That helps."
Carpenter posts another gem: Chris Carpenter needed just 95 pitches to improve his mark to 4-0 on Thursday night, pitching the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Reds and back into first place in the National League Central.
With an ERA of 0.71, 31 strikeouts and just five walks, Carpenter is back among the best in all of baseball.
"He's tied for first," La Russa told MLB.com about where Carpenter ranks among the game's best pitchers. "There's never been a better pitcher. I don't think anybody pitching today is better. He's right up there with [Roy] Halladay and the best ones out there. Carp's right there."
McLouth didn't expect to be packing bags: The Braves bolstered their outfield by acquiring All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates in exchange for three Minor League players, including pitcher Charlie Morton, who saw time in Atlanta last season.
"It was shocking," McLouth told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It was the last thing on my mind, to be honest with you."
"The transition from a baseball standpoint -- it's still the same thing, it's still the same level," McLouth said. "Just moved up a couple spots in the standings now, and that's definitely a good thing."
Johnson brings laughs, smiles with blast: The Marlins are used to seeing Josh Johnson dominate on the mound, but on Thursday, Johnson hit a three-run homer to back his pitching and lead the Marlins to a 4-3 win over the Brewers.
"I just kind of ran into a ball and got lucky, but I will take it," Johnson told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of his home run shot.
"Pretty much everyone was laughing or smiling, one of the two," he said.
Kendrick produces in win: Howie Kendrick was the catalyst for a ninth-inning win when he got on base with a bunt single and eventually scored on a hit that did not leave the infield.
"I'm not going to lie to you," Kendrick told the Los Angeles Times. "It feels good."
Valverde closing in on rehab games: For the first time since going on the disabled list on April 27, Jose Valverde went through fielding practice in addition to throwing a bullpen session for the Astros.
"I threw all my pitches," he told the Houston Chronicle. "I threw my fastball, my split-finger, my sinker, everything. It was 30 pitches."
Valverde is scheduled to throw simulated games on Friday and Sunday and then will likely head out for a rehab assignment next week.
-- Red Line Editorial