Randy Johnson, on still wanting to return to the Giants this season as a reliever despite the 46-year-old’s torn rotator cuff and the team’s 4.5-game Wild Card deficit:
I felt I owed it to everybody in this clubhouse to come back. I owed it to the ownership, and I owed it to myself. It would be easy at age 46 to say, “OK, well, I’ve got a torn rotator cuff. I’m not coming back.” But I didn’t do that when I had any of my knee surgeries or back surgeries. Why should it be different now?
After 21 years of coming back from things, I don’t want my last memory to be walking off with a trainer. If I blow it out, I blow it out. I’m getting paid to do a job, to help these guys in whatever way I can. Will one inning help? I don’t know, but hopefully there’s time to find out.
Johnson was a reasonably effective starter before the injury, going 8-6 with a 4.81 ERA and 80/31 K/BB ratio in 91.2 innings, so if the Giants can find a way to stay in the Wild Card race for another couple weeks it certainly wouldn’t be shocking to see the 303-game winner have some success as a situation left-hander out of the bullpen.
His comment about not wanting his “last memory to be walking off with a trainer” and his willingness to “blow it out” during the final weeks of this season certainly suggest that Johnson isn’t planning to pitch in 2010. That’s a shame, because beyond his various injury problems Johnson has remained capable of getting big-league hitters out and it’s never fun to have one of the greatest players of all time call it a career. On the other hand, the Hall of Fame class of 2015 will be better for it.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.