Even today, every so often, you hear a Yankees fan lament about Randy Johnson’s performance in Game 3 of the ALDS this year.
But, let’s be fair. Just an inning after Johnson left that contest, it was a 1-run ballgame with 5 innings to play. It’s not like Johnson cost the game, completely, for New York. How did Gordon, Leiter, and Proctor do in that game? You could say that it was their 4 runs allowed in 3 innings that cost the Yankees the game. And, back to Unit, Johnson did come back in Game 5 of that series to play a big role in keeping that Yankees in that game.
It’s not like post-season Randy Johnson in 2005 equals post-season Kevin Brown and/or Javy Vazquez in 2004.
And, was Johnson in Game 3 this year any worse than Roger Clemens in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS? Was he any worse than Andy Pettitte in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series? Was he any worse than David Cone in Game 1 of the 1997 ALDS? Any worse than Kenny Rogers in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series? Anyone want to remember David Wells in Game 5 of the 2003 World Series? Mussina in Game 5 of this recent ALDS?
Just about every “great” recent Yankees starting pitcher – outside of El Duque and Jimmy Key – has spit the bit in a big post-season contest. It happens.
To single out Randy Johnson for Game 3 of the 2005 ALDS is just unfair – unless you want to roast Clemens, Pettitte, and the others too.