With his great effort in this game, Randy Johnson is now on pace to have a record of 18-7 this season (for the Yankees).
Last year, the Big Unit went 17-8 for New York. So, it looks like Johnson, this season, will be doing what he did last season. And, that’s not bad.
Five months ago, I said that anything over 16 wins from Randy in 2006 would be a miracle. Hey, what can I say? Hallelujah!
If Johnson does win 17+ games again for the Yankees this season, it will be the first time in a while, for New York, where a pitcher has won 17+ in back-to-back years. Here’s the list of the most recent times that it has happened:
Mike Mussina 2001-03
Andy Pettitte 1996-97
Jimmy Key 1993-94
Ron Guidry 1978-80
Tommy John 1979-80
Catfish Hunter 1975-76
Fritz Peterson 1969-70
Mel Stottlemyre 1968-69
Therefore, the Big Unit would become only the 4th pitcher in the last quarter-century to have back-to-back seasons of 17+ wins for the Yankees. That’s an interesting stat.
And, with the game tonight, if you took Johnson’s stats for the season, and removed the two games each that he pitched against the tip-reading Mets and the Blue Jays, then his season ERA would be 3.61 (in 94.67 IP).
An ERA of 3.61 would be the 12th best mark in the American League right now.
The last time the Yankees had a left-handed SP make 30+ starts in a season and have an ERA of 3.61 or better was David Wells in 1998. Nine seasons is a long time.
When you look at it all this way, getting Randy Johnson was not such a bad move by the Yankees – even if he was over forty at the time.