– With not nearly as many intriguing pitching matchups on the schedule
as on Tuesday, it will be easy enough to key in on the potential
history-making event tonight.
Game of the Night
San Francisco vs. Washington – Randy Johnson’s first try for win No.
300 will come against the Nationals, the team he beat for win No. 298
on May 11. It’s also the franchise he pitched for when he earned his
first three career victories in 1988. He went on to spend part of 1989
with the Expos, going 0-4 with a 6.67 ERA before being traded to the
Mariners. Since then, he pitched against the ExpoNats 10 times, going
4-3 with a 2.99 ERA.
If Johnson does pick up the victory, he’ll be the 24th pitcher to
300 and he’ll join Lefty Grove and Early Winn in a three-way tie for
22nd place on the all-time list. At 45, he’d be the second-oldest
pitcher to get to 300 wins, behind only Phil Niekro.
The Nationals will go Jordan Zimmermann, who has been looking for
career win No. 3 for five weeks now. Since winning his first two major
league starts, he’s 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in six outings.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.
A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.
Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.
The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.
Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:
Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.
Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.