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 officially 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 3 balls in the count.

-Veteran Chipper Jones struck out all three times.

-Andruw Jones was the only Braves batter without a strikeout, in fact, all three at-bats resulted in balls hit to the outfield, his second at-bat in the fifth inning being the only ball hit to left fielder Luis Gonzalez in the 27 out performance.

-The closest play that almost resulted in 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 Cintrón going into a do-or-die bare hand grab and throw to the first baseman 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:

Every time you catch [Johnson], you feel that something like this has a chance to happen...He's so intense, and it's something he has out there on the mound that makes me that much better.

—Robbie Hammock, May 19, 2004: MLB.com[5]

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

I was part of two no-hitters, one against [the Milwaukee Brewers] by Kansas City and Steve Busby and one for us against Baltimore with Juan Nieves. But to see Randy do it was even more remarkable because he's had such an incredible career.

—Robin Yount, May 19, 2004: MLB.com[5]

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

Steve Finley and I were part of a no-hitter that Darryl Kile threw when we were all in Houston. But there's no doubt that for Randy to be out there pitching like that — well, nothing can compare to Randy.

—Luis Gonzalez, May 19, 2004: MLB.com[5]

Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks manager at the time:

This is one of those nights where a superior athlete was on top of his game. There was a tremendous rhythm out there. His focus, his concentration, his stuff, everything was as good as it could possibly be.

—Bob Brenly, May 18, 2004: ESPN.com[6]

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]