When Randy Johnson's ERA was over the Big Six Line I thought "300 gonna take a while." Turns out the Big Six was innings pitched--not since the first of the month had The Great Old One pitched six full. In 10 starts, he has two 7-inning gems: the 1-hitter against the Snakes on April 19th, and the 4-hitter against the Crockies on May 1st, striking out 16 and and putting up all zeros. He's given up 7 earned runs three times, and 4 earned runs (in 5 IP) twice. Last night was his first straight six, and he has not given up a home run since the Nats took him deep three times on May 11th. After racking up 13 walks in his first 4 starts, he's only walked 6 in his last 6. He can still baffle 'em with that slider: 54 Ks in 53 IP. Last year Johnson managed 30 starts and 184 innings (11 wins), including two complete games. With 116 games left in this season, Johnson should get the ball another twenty times barring injury. I think the 300 gamble will pay off for the marketing department.
Another impressive home win--5 hits for the right side of the infield, you have to love that. Mississippi Fred is still singing the consistent contact blues but he managed another walk and a run scored--he leads the team in both categories. Captain Gomer has found temporary redemption in the leadoff role. He's got the highest career OPS and SLG of all the vets on the squad and he's the highest paid position player, yet we can't find a spot for him. This is why I shudder when The Brian Trust talks about trades. We have a real problem with assigning "value" to a player's skill set. We buy or trade for the wrong players and pay them so out of line with their worth, or give up too much for them, that Brian Sabean's competence is a running joke.
Meanwhile we are back at .500, and I'll admit I'm surprised. I didn't think we would get there so fast, but the starters have been tough and we've gotten some clutch hits. We are 16-8 at home, averaging 2 wins out of every 3 games. Let's see, we've got the first-place Cards coming to town with Albert P and his Very Big Stick, can we pull off two wins? Matt Cain Friday, followed by BZ and Sanchez. Too bad The Franchise won't get a shot at them--he goes Tuesday in the Capitol against the worst team in baseball.