Randy Johnson was one of the most overpowering pitchers in the history of the game. On this day in 2004, the Arizona Diamondbacks star added to his Hall of Fame resume by pitching a perfect game.
One of the most fearsome presences on the mound in MLB history, Randy Johnson carried an amazing intimidation factor. Standing at 6’10” tall and firing 100 MPH fastballs, facing Johnson was a test of bravery. It was also a test that some players, notably John Kruk during the All Star Game, wanted no part of.
As he refined his command, Johnson became the dominant force that he is remembered as today. Not only did he remain as the strikeout king of his generation, but he refined his command to the point where he was walking a shade more than two betters per nine innings. On this day in 2004, everything came together for Johnson, as the Arizona Diamondbacks starter dominated the Atlanta Braves in throwing the 17th perfect game in MLB history.
Johnson struck out 13 batters in the game, victimizing every batter in the Braves lineup aside from Mark DeRosa. Showing how much his command had improved, he had only one three ball count, when Johnny Estrada worked an 11 pitch at bat before striking out. He finished with a flourish, striking out Nick Green and Eddie Perez to finish his masterpiece.
En route to making history, Johnson became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game. This was also Johnson’s second no hitter, as he fired one on June 2, 1990 as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox by a 2-0 score. In that game, Johnson struck out eight, but also walked six batters.
it was another great moment in a career filled with them. When he retired following the 2009 season, he had a 303-166 record, posting a 3.29 ERA and a 1.171 WHiP. He ranks second all time with 4875 strikeouts, a record for left handed pitchers. Johnson also has the all time record with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and had the most consecutive seasons with 300 or more strikeouts.
Randy Johnson had the ability to be truly dominant virtually every time he went to the mound. On this day, the Arizona Diamondbacks starter became the oldest pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game.