Johnson gets 3000th strikeout


Monday, September 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


MIAMI – Randy Johnson got his 300th strikeout of the season, then he got No. 3,000 for his career. He finished with a season-high 14 strikeouts in seven innings Sunday against the Florida Marlins.


What he really wanted was a win.


"Obviously winning for the team comes first, especially considering the situation that we're in," said Johnson, who became the 12th player to reach the 3,000 strikeout plateau "So when you look at tonight, the outcome of what I did isn't as good since we lost."


Preston Wilson singled with two outs in the 12th inning, scoring Mark Kotsay from second base, as the Marlins beat Arizona, 4-3, and spoiled Johnson's milestone outing.


The Diamondbacks fell 41/2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL wild card race.


"The loss is a setback," Johnson said. "We had some momentum going. Now we have to regroup and see if we can get another winning streak going."


Celebrating his 37th birthday, the tall and lanky left-hander struck out the side in the second, fourth and sixth innings before leaving with the score tied at 3. He gave up six hits and one earned run, settling for his fourth no-decision in his last nine starts.


"He had outstanding stuff. He gave us a chance to win the game," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "Our guys realize that we are lucky to have Randy and that we don't have to face him. This is a 37-year-old guy who throws 98 mph. He's a remarkable athlete and I feel lucky to have had him pass my way."


The Marlins, despite striking out a team-record 21 times – one short of the NL record – snapped a five-game losing streak.


Kotsay beat out a drag bunt to start the 12th off Russ Springer, then moved to second on Luis Castillo's sacrifice bunt, setting up Wilson's game-winning hit.


But Johnson was the story of the game. His slider was the best the Marlins have seen, Marlins manager John Boles said.


"He was as tough as he looked," Wilson said. "There was nothing we could do. He was snapping it off pretty good."


Mike Lowell became Johnson's 3,000th victim, striking out on four pitches to end the fourth inning.


Catcher Kelly Stinnett carried the ball into the dugout, while Johnson walked off the field to a standing ovation. Johnson raised his black glove into the air, acknowledging the crowd's applause, as he reached the dugout steps.


"You hope to have a chance to catch a pitcher like that," Stinnett said. "To catch him on a night when he goes out and gets his 3,000th strikeout is an honor."


Johnson's first strikeout of the game gave him 300 for the third consecutive season and the fourth time overall.


Nolan Ryan is the only other pitcher to strike out 300 in three straight seasons, doing it in 1972-74.