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Career Builder » Randy Johnson Career

Not as Useless as We All Thought

I think itís time for all of us to admit that we were incorrect in labeling Randy Johnson as worthless to the Yankeesí starting rotation. While his start to the season was without a doubt absolutely awful, better yet, his first 2 months were awful, I think weíll be seeing the old Randy Johnson for the rest of the season. If his past two starts are any indication of how well The Unit will be pitching for the Yankees down the stretch, then I think itís hard to find a team that matches our front three of Johnson, Mussina, Wang. Iím not saying that R.J. is going to go out there every night and strike out 12 guys a game, and stifle the other teamís offense every start, but I will say that weíre going to be seeing a lot more of the Big Nasty that we were all accustomed to seeing in the past.

Although the Yankees dropped their third in a row last night, Randy Johnson pitched a pretty good game against a very good Phillies offense. The defense didnít help Randy out much, as Robinson Canoís error led to two Philadelphia runs. With his setback start against the Oakland Athletics withstanding, Randy Johnsonís ERA in his last four starts has been 3.33. He stroke out 25 batters in those four games, and he has been working pretty efficiently on the mound, and giving the Yankees plenty of innings. Throughout his career, The Big Unit has always started off slowly. His ERA in the opening months of April and May is more than a half a run higher than later in the season. Iím not saying that he is going to be as dominant as before, but weíre definitely going to be seeing improvement as the year goes on, as he perennially has improved as the season has progressed, and this year is not some sort of strange anomaly.

After the All-Star break, Randy Johnson has always been even better in the beginning of the year, as his ERA goes considerably down, the number of strikeouts goes up, and the number of hits he allows goes considerably down as well. Randy was pretty awful in the beginning of the year, and on average, throughout the course of his career, his beginning of the year statistics have paled in comparison to what he puts up for his team as the season progresses. Letís not fret Yankees fans; although the Big Unit may be getting old, there have been years in which he hasnít pitched as well as people expected him to. In 2003 with the Diamondbacks, he put up an ERA of 4.26; the next year, he came back and posted an ERA of 2.60 for a full season. In 1998 with the Mariners, Randy had an ERA of 4.33, and then after getting traded to the Astros, after the All-Star break, The Unit went on an absolute tear posting a 1.28 ERA and going 10-1 in the process.

Randy may have had a slow start to the season, but he usually saves his best for last.

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Source: www.articletrader.com