Hope for a Randy Johnson loss today

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Last night’s rainout pushed Randy Johnson’s first attempt at win number
300 to this afternoon. If history is any guide, however, we shouldn’t hold our breath for history to be made today:

Crossing that bridge from 299 wins to 300 has not been easy for the
pitchers who have reached the milestone most recently. The last six –
Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Tom
Glavine – all needed between two and five starts to get 300. Clemens
and Ryan were hammered for eight and seven runs, respectively, in their
first tries.

Tom Seaver was the last to win 299 and 300 in consecutive starts
when, pitching for the White Sox in 1985, he won at Boston on July 30
then defeated the Yankees in New York on Aug. 4. Only four of the 11
300-game winners in the last 50 years have achieved it in one try.

I’m hoping for history to hold. Not because I hate Randy Johnson or
love the Nats or anything, but because, if he doesn’t get it tonight,
his next start looks to be either next Tuesday or Wednesday in Arizona,
where the Big Unit happens to have some history. As I mentioned in the
previous post, history matters to me, so I’d much rather see it being
made in front of a full house of people with fond memories of Randy
Johnson rather than some sparsely attended front end of a doubleheader
in D.C.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.