Randy Johnson's perfect game

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Randy Johnson, pictured in 2008, threw his second career no-hitter, a perfect game, on May 18, 2004.

On May 18, 2004, Randy Johnson, who was a member of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Arizona Diamondbacks, pitched a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves. The game took place at Turner Field in Atlanta in front of a crowd of 23,381 people.[1] Johnson, who was 40 at the time, was the oldest pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game, surpassing Cy Young who was 37 when he threw his perfect game in 1904.[2] The perfect game was the seventeenth in baseball history, the predecessor being David Cone in 1999.[3]

Background[edit]

Turner Field was the site of Randy Johnson's perfect game.

Going into the game, Johnson had a win-loss record of 3–4 with a 2.83 earned run average (ERA) in eight games.[4] On April 16, 2004, Johnson pitched a complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres.[4]

Game summary[edit]

The game started at 7:36 p.m. in front of 23,381 people at Turner Field in Atlanta.[1] Johnson's catcher for the game was Robby Hammock,[5] who was playing his second season in the Majors. Johnson later praised Hammock stating, "I only shook [Hammock] off two or three times...He called a great game. The thing is he was probably the most excited guy in the clubhouse, and I'm happy for that. He's come a long way."[5] The last batter of the game was pinch-hitter Eddie Pérez, who was struck out on a 98 miles per hour (158 km/h) fastball.[6] Johnson struck out 13 batters in the game, giving him the second highest number of strikeouts in a MLB perfect game performance behind Sandy Koufax's 14 Ks in 1965 and Matt Cain's 14 Ks in 2012.[6] The perfect game made it Johnson's second no-hitter, the other coming in 1990 while he was a member of the Seattle Mariners.[7] Johnson's perfect game was the first in the MLB since David Cone on July 18, 1999, while Cone was a member of the New York Yankees,[8] and the first in the National League since Dennis Martínez of the Montreal Expos on July 28, 1991.[8] Johnson, who was 40 at the time, surpassed Cy Young as the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game in MLB history.[2] Young, who achieved the feat in 1904, was 37 at the time.[2]

-Johnny Estrada's first at-bat in the second inning was the longest of the night, requiring 11 pitches before striking out swinging. It was the only Braves at-bat that reached three balls in the count.

-Veteran Chipper Jones struck out all three times.

-Andruw Jones and Mark DeRosa were the only Braves batters without a strikeout.

-The play that came closest to a hit was Mike Hampton's second at-bat in the sixth inning when a chop ground ball dribbling left of the second base bag resulted in Alex Cintrón performing a do-or-die bare hand grab and throw to the first baseman, Shea Hillenbrand for the out.

Game stats[edit]

General reference
May 18, 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves Play by Play and Box Score Baseball-Reference.com Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved August 4, 2010.

Line score[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Diamondbacks 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 8 0
Braves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
WP: Randy Johnson (4–4)   LP: Mike Hampton (0–5)

Box score[edit]

Diamondbacks AB R H RBI BB SO AVG
Chad Tracy, 3B 4 0 2 1 1 0 .348
Matt Kata, 2B 5 0 0 0 0 1 .254
Luis Gonzalez, LF 3 0 0 0 1 0 .271
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 .261
Steve Finley, CF 4 0 1 0 0 0 .265
Danny Bautista, RF 4 1 1 0 0 0 .341
Alex Cintrón, SS 4 1 3 1 0 0 .255
Robby Hammock, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 .229
Randy Johnson, P 4 0 0 0 0 2 .150
Diamondbacks IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Johnson 9 0 0 0 0 13 0 2.43
Braves AB GO AO SO FO PO LO AVG
Jesse Garcia, SS 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 .284
Julio Franco, 1B 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 .255
Chipper Jones, LF 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 .238
Andruw Jones, CF 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 .246
Johnny Estrada, C 3 0 1 2 0 0 0 .333
J. D. Drew, RF 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 .296
Mark DeRosa, 3B 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 .201
Nick Green, 2B 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 .222
Mike Hampton, P 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 .200
Eddie Pérez, PH[a] 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .200
Braves IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Mike Hampton 9 8 2 2 3 5 0 6.36

Reactions[edit]

Robby Hammock, the catcher of Johnson's perfect game:

Robin Yount, the bench coach of the Diamondbacks at the time:

Luis Gonzalez, left fielder for the Diamondbacks at the time:

Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks manager at the time:

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "May 18, 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Oldest pitchers to toss perfectos". MLB.com. May 18, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Perfect game list". MLB.com. May 18, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Randy Johnson 2004 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e George Henry (May 19, 2004). "Hammock lives dream, catches gem". MLB.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Johnson K's 13 in perfect effort". ESPN.com. May 18, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Randy Johnson, 40, Hurls Perfect Game". The New York Times. May 19, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Randy Johnson pitches perfect game". UPI. May 18, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 

External links[edit]