The Pinnacle of Pitching

Randy Johnson has just pitched the 17th perfect game. Of course, this number does not include such close perfect games such as Pedro Martinez’s bid in 1995, his bid ruined by a hit – in the tenth inning.
I caught the tail end of the ninth to at least witness the perfect game. It brought back a flashback of when Mike Mussina made his bid to join the perfect game ranks. I was at that game, and as I detailed here:

Talk about conflicting emotions. The baseball fan wanted to see it done, the Red Sox fan was hollering its head off. Thank goodness the right fan won.

Randy Johnson has been rumored to be involved in trade rumors this year, and given Arizona’s record at a feeble 15-23, eight games back of the 22-14 Dodgers (how bout them Dodgers?). This will certainly give the Diamondbacks some much needed leverage in trades. The Yankees certainly have their eyes finely fixtated on RJ right now. Hopefully those eyes will stay fixtated on RJ while the hands do other things.
Lubomir Merkov over at Out In The Desert had this to say about today’s game:

In unrelated news, AZ is visiting Richmond to play ATL’s AAA team. OK, so I’m taking too much pleasure in the suffering of the Braves. But injuries have truly crippled the once proud franchise from the deep South. With Giles on the DL, Furcal also hurt, Chipper gimpy, and Drew sitting out with his latest paper cut wound, the Snakes will be catching the Tomahawk crew at a bad time – or a good time, if you’re an AZ fan. RJ goes on the mound to face Mike Hampton. Hampton is winless on the season and is sporting a healthy ERA of 7.41. Heck, he’d fit in nicely in the back of the AZ rotation right now. Webb faces Thomson tomorrow, and Fossum squares off against Ramirez on Thursday. Needless to say, I am rooting for a sweep. But baby steps first, kiddo; how about a win tonight first?

Perhaps the Braves would not have submitted to the ignominy of being the victim of a perfect game if they had their normal lineup. Nevertheless, a lineup of

J Garcia SS
Franco 1B
C Jones LF
A Jones CF
Estrada C
Drew RF
Derosa 3B
Green 2B
Hampton P
Perez PH

sure as heck beats the Montreal Expos lineup when David Cone bested them.

W Guerrero DH
Jones CF
Mouton CF
White LF
V Guerrero RF
Vidro 2B
Fullmer 1B
Widger C
Andrews 3B
McGuire PH
Cabrera SS

That season, 1999, Montreal finished 78-94, a winning percentage of .419, while the Braves are currently 17-20 with a winning percentage of .459. (Side note: Looks like that 12 straight division streak will be snapped. It’s too bad, they had a real shot of pulling it off, but the injuries Mr. I Only Play When 100% JD Drew, Chipper Jones, Marcus Giles, and Rafael Furcal have really hampered this team.
Congratulations, Randy. You earned it. You saved Red Sox Nation from another Yankee World Series in 2001, gave us such a sweet ending too (thanks Luis Gonzalez!) and I couldn’t be more happier for you. It is the first perfect game by a pitcher either 40 or over. Congratulations, Randy.
Oh, and the Red Sox won today, 7-3.