Major Leagues: Johnson’s memorable night ruined
MILWAUKEE ó Seth McClung didn’t want to get caught up in the notion that he was going pitch-for-pitch with Randy Johnson, especially on a night when the Big Unit reached another lofty milestone.
But those bats the Brewers’ right-hander used to slap the first two hits of his career against the Arizona Diamondbacks’ venerable veteran? McClung said he’s sending them straight to the hall ó the one in his house, anyway.
“Randy Johnson’s one of the greatest pitchers of all time,” McClung said. “I just saw it and swung.”
Johnson began Tuesday night by passing Roger Clemens and taking sole possession of second place on baseball’s career strikeout list. But it was McClung, Ryan Braun and the Brewers who came away with a 7-1 victory.
Milwaukee now has won five straight and eight of its last nine games.
“Even when times were tough for us earlier in the year, nobody on our team panicked,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Milwaukee had to stay patient at the plate with Johnson (4-2), who was nearly untouchable through the first five innings. His first-inning strikeout of Mike Cameron was the 4,673rd of his career, putting him in second place but still far behind Nolan Ryan’s 5,714.
“If I was to retire right now, I’d be pretty proud of where I stand in the history of the game, simply because I never imagined doing these things,” Johnson said.
Johnson went on to strike out eight and gave up only three hits through five ó all singles, two of which came from McClung.
But Johnson got in trouble with a 1-0 lead in the sixth, walking Cameron to lead off the inning and giving up a go-ahead two-run homer to Braun. Tuesday was the first time Braunhad faced Johnson.
“I don’t think after three at-bats I can give you a great orientation of what I think of him,” Johnson said. “The numbers indicate he’s a pretty good dog-gone player.”
Braun was impressed.
“He was on top of his game, too,” Braun said. “He was dominant.”
Milwaukee added to its lead in the seventh when Joe Dillon’s double drove in J.J. Hardy from first. Johnson was taken out of the game, tipping his hat as he received respectful applause from Brewers fans.
“As a visiting player, that meant a lot,” Johnson said. “That’s pretty classy and I won’t ever forget that.”