Sport May 8, 2001: Randy Johnson's unique 20-strikeout game, remembered

00:00  09 may  2018
00:00  09 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The AP summarized: Randy Johnson got 20 strikeouts , but not the glory. Gathering Assorted Items of Baseball History and Trivia. Randy Johnson ’ s 20 - Strikeout Game in 2001 . It came against the Cincinnati Reds on May 8 , in Arizona.

He tied Roger Clemens' and Kerry Wood' s nine-inning strikeout record when he fanned 20 Cincinnati Reds batters on May 8 , 2001 (Byung-hyun Kim relieved Johnson after nine innings with the game tied, 1-1).

For all Randy Johnson did in his Hall of Fame career, one of his most impressive feats seems to hardly get a mention.

On May 8, 2001, Johnson became the third pitcher (and the first lefty) in MLB history to strike out 20 batters over nine innings. But unlike Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood before him, Johnson's stellar effort wasn't enough to secure a win in regulation for the Diamondbacks, who remained tied with the Reds 1-1 after nine complete. After fanning the Reds' Juan Castros for his 20th strikeout to close out the top of the ninth, Johnson turned things over to the Arizona bullpen, which surrendered the lead in the 11th, only to have the offense bail it out with a comeback win in the bottom half of the inning.

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On May 8 , 2001 , Randy Johnson pitched a game for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Cincinnati Reds in which he struck out 20 batters in 9 innings. The Diamondbacks won the game in 11 innings, and therefore Johnson ’ s 20 - strikeout game is listed in the MLB records among “Most Strikeouts in

Struck out 20 batters in a game on May 8 , 2001 against Cincinnati Reds; Johnson recorded all 20 strikeouts in the first nine innings, but because the game went into extra innings, it was not categorized by MLB as an "official" 20 - strikeout game (Tom Cheney' s 16-inning, 21- strikeout game is also listed

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So, to sum up, Johnson fanned 20 in nine innings, but got a no-decision, in the 4-3 Arizona win. Such a record-book dominant outing from a starting pitcher is usually talked about for decades. That hasn't happened with Johnson's 20-strikeout game, which, while not exactly forgotten, is often overlooked in the annals of great pitching performances. Apparently, the game needed to only take nine innings for this to be revered. Whatever.

In the spirit of #neverforget, let's take a look back at the details of Johnson's outing.

— Johnson threw 124 pitches and got 36 swinging strikes. That's a 29 percent swing-and-miss rate. For perspective, Kerry Wood's swing-and-miss rate in his other-wordly 20-strikeout game in 1998 was 19.6 percent — making Johnson's stuff that night officially insane. Related to that ...

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Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson struck out 20 and walked none Tuesday against the Reds. Johnson has had a career full of amazing accomplishments, and despite what the record books may say, this 20 - strikeout game is up there with the best of them.

Randy Johnson ( May 8 , 2001 against the Reds). Scherzer became the fifth pitcher in baseball history to record 20 strikeouts when he face the Tigers on May 11, 2016. (Alex Brandon/AP).

— 18 of Johnson's 20 strikeouts came swinging. That's a lot.

— Among those 20 punchouts, Johnson got Hall of Famer Barry Larkin three times, and Hall of Famer (in football) Deion Sanders once. If that's not the only time in baseball history that a pitcher struck out eventual Hall of Famers in two sports in the same game, well, it's gotta be pretty rare.

— Johnson retired 13 straight to begin the game, 10 of them on strikeouts. The Reds' first hit came in the fifth off the bat of Aaron Boone, who was also the only Reds regular to avoid multiple strikeouts in the game. Speaking of hits ...

— Johnson went 1 for 3 at the plate, with a single. He did not strike out, though.

— Johnson struck out seven straight batters at one point. He fanned the side in the seventh and eighth, then got the pinch-hitting Sanders swinging to start the ninth. This string of strikeouts, more than any other sequence in the game, is what secured his date with history.

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10. Randy Johnson : Nov. 4, 2001 . Fun Johnson facts: Perhaps the two most memorable outings of his career actually came in relief. 5. Johnson : May 8 , 2001 . This was Johnson ' s record-tying 20 - strikeout game , good for a Game Score of 97.

Johnson struck out 20 batters in a game on May 8 , 2001 against the Cincinnati Reds. Johnson recorded all 20 strikeouts in the first nine innings, but because the game went into extra innings, it was not categorized Let' s remember the time Randy Johnson accidentally drilled a bird with a fastball.

— Johnson had zero walks in the game. He did allow one earned run, on an RBI single from Ruben Rivera in the fifth, scoring Boone, but faced little challenge the rest of the night.

a close up of a man throwing a baseball: Randy Johnson© (Getty Images) Randy Johnson

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On the one hand, Johnson probably doesn't care that his 20-K game doesn't get more love. After all, he won the Cy Young award that year with a 21-6 record, a league-leading 2.49 ERA and a league-leading 372 strikeouts. And, oh yeah, he also won World Series MVP as the Diamondbacks won it all in a thrilling Fall Classic — which featured Johnson getting the win in relief in Game 7 after pitching seven innings in Game 6.

On the other hand, 20 strikeouts in a game is always cool, no matter how it happens. So, happy anniversary, Mr. Big Unit.

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