It was a great game. Yes, that was probably ball four to Dunn in the eighth inning, but let me back up. The eighth was very nearly it for the Giants. It was a tight game, and the mistakes that Medders make against to Nieves were complicated by the walk to Nick Johnson by Affeldt. Wilson coming in and walking Zimmerman just seemed like the death knell for 300. It was excruciating. With the weather and the early start, only 5,000 people made it to the game, but each and every one of them was glued to this game like it was game seven of the World Series, and this was the bottom of the ninth. With the score close,and Johnson’s win hanging in the balance, even the Nationals were rooting for Wilson to retire Adam Dunn. Dunn’s been lethal this year with the bases juiced, with a grand slam in five at-bats, plus a total of eight RBI. But there we were, with a full count, and Randy Johnson’s 300th win on the line. A walk, and that’s the ballgame for most of the fans still sitting in the rain. A hit, and that’s the ballgame. Strike 3 is pretty much the only option. Wilson wound up and fired it in there. A long pause.
It was low, but Dunn made the mistake of showing up the home plate umpire, and chucking his bat toward the dugout and started walking. The umpire took a stutterstep backwards and rung him up, strike 3. Dunn made a show of arguing, but it was no use. The Giants went back to the dugout, and ran up three runs on Joel Hanrahan in the ninth, making the rest academic. 300 wins. The only regret that I have about the game was that there was no curtain call for Johnson. The crowd was on their feet after each inning, but a final thank you would’ve been welcome. I’m told Johnson was eloquent and effusive in the press conference, and I’m sure of it. Johnson commands respect on and off the mound, and his grace is not surprising, but to be respected. If you look at the current list of pitchers in pursuit of 300, only Andy Petitte is the only one with half a shot, which is hard to imagine. No one else, within a generation, is close to the big 300, at least, not close enough to be assured of it.
I’m glad to have been there tonight, and I’ll put my scoresheet up on the wall with what’s left of my rainsoaked ticket.