Series: Game 2 of 3

Washington leads 1-0 (as of 6/3)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 2
San Francisco6Final
Game 2: Wednesday, June 3
San FranciscoPostponed
Game 2: Thursday, June 4
San Francisco5Final
Game 3: Thursday, June 4
San Francisco4Final
in 6

7:05 PM ET, June 3, 2009

Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 

Starting Pitchers

San Francisco: Johnson (8-6, 4.88 ERA)

Washington: Zimmermann (3-5, 4.63 ERA)

Giants-Nationals Preview


San Francisco Giants pitcher Randy Johnson got his first win in his major league debut Sept. 15, 1988, while playing for the Montreal Expos.

More than two decades later, he's poised to make history by taking advantage of that struggling franchise, now the Washington Nationals.

Johnson looks to become the 24th pitcher to reach 300 wins as the Giants continue a three-game road series against the woeful Nationals on Wednesday night.

At 45 years old, Johnson (4-4, 5.71 ERA) owns a World Series ring and co-MVP honors to go along with five Cy Young awards. The 10-time All-Star has thrown two no-hitters, including the majors' last perfect game in 2004, and ranks second on the career strikeout list with 4,843.

Now he's one win away from adding another line to his Hall of Fame resume and joining Tom Glavine as the only active pitchers with at least 300 victories. Though it's a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Glavine joined the 300-win club Aug. 5, 2007, Johnson isn't reveling in the attention surrounding his potentially historic start.

"I'm not going to talk about this stuff. OK, I got to go," he said earlier this week, quickly leaving his locker and heading to the field. "I get distracted. I just try not to talk at all."

Johnson's teammates also admitted they'll be feeling the significance of the occasion Wednesday.

"You're going to feel a little different than a normal game, because everybody's thinking about that," said shortstop Edgar Renteria, like Johnson in his first season with San Francisco (25-25). "You're going to be in the book too because everybody's going to say, 'Randy won 300, but I played in that game.' When you tell your boys it's going to be exciting."

There could be added significance on Johnson reaching 300 wins because the 6-foot-10 left-hander is the last pitcher within striking distance of the milestone. Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer is directly behind Johnson with 250, and the 46-year-old probably won't play long enough to get 50 more. Only two other current players have more than 200 -- Andy Pettitte with 220 and John Smoltz with 210.

"A 300-game winner, we might not see it again," Giants catcher Bengie Molina said. "I hope Randy understands how much it means to us. We appreciate every effort."

Johnson, who's held opponents to one run in consecutive starts, is 4-3 with a 2.99 ERA lifetime against the Washington franchise, including an 11-7 win over the Nationals on May 11. He gave up four runs in five innings in that game, his 10th career start against the franchise with which he got his first three wins in 1988.

That loss to Johnson and the Giants was part of a dismal stretch for the Nationals (14-36). They ended a six-game losing streak with an 10-6 win in the series opener Tuesday night, but it was just their fourth win in 22 games since May 10.

Washington's struggles led to the firing of pitching coach Randy St. Claire on Tuesday. The Nationals, last in the majors with a 5.67 ERA, promoted Steve McCatty from Triple-A to replace him.

One of McCatty's charges will be to help develop rookie Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 6.07), who will match up against Johnson on Wednesday. The 23-year-old right-hander, the club's top pitching prospect, gave up five runs in six innings of Washington's loss at San Francisco on May 12.

"I hope I'm not part of history tomorrow," Zimmermann said Tuesday. "I have to go out there and pitch my game and not think about history in the making, I guess."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

 San FranciscoWashington
Current StreakW1W7
Last 106-47-3

Pitching Matchup

San FranciscoWashington
R. Johnson
8-6, 4.88 ERA

Last Game:
10/4 at SD
1.0 IP, 0 ER
Dec = ND
J. Zimmermann
3-5, 4.63 ERA

Last Game:
7/18 vs CHC
5.1 IP, 4 ER
Dec = Loss

Gameday Lineups

NO.San FranciscoWashington
1. A. Rowand, CF A. Hernandez, 2B
2. E. Renteria, SS N. Johnson, 1B
3. R. Winn, RF R. Zimmerman, 3B
4. B. Molina, C A. Dunn, LF
5. P. Sandoval, 1B E. Dukes, CF
6. F. Lewis, LF A. Kearns, RF
7. J. Uribe, 3B A. Gonzalez, SS
8. E. Burriss, 2B W. Nieves, C
9. R. Johnson, P J. Zimmermann, P