Randy Johnson totaled 103 wins in six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks between 1999 and 2004. Three starts into his first season back in Phoenix, the five-time Cy Young Award winner is still looking for his first victory.
Johnson tries again as the Diamondbacks close out their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
Johnson (0-2, 6.50 ERA) rejoined the Diamondbacks (19-16) last winter after two years with the New York Yankees. After missing the first three weeks of the season while recovering from offseason back surgery, the 43-year-old left-hander has yet to show the form that led to four consecutive Cy Young Awards while pitching for the Diamondbacks from 1999 to 2002.
“It’s getting better,” Johnson said after his last start, a 5-3 loss in which he gave up five runs in seven innings. “I know the results don’t reflect that.”
Overall, he has allowed 14 runs in 18 innings, and opponents are batting .324 against him.
“It’s going to take a little while, but I think it’s coming,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Johnson is 8-3 with a 2.46 ERA in 16 career starts against the Phillies (14-19), but he has lost each of his last two outings against them.
Johnson will match up against another experienced left-hander as Jamie Moyer (3-2, 2.85) gets the start for Philadelphia.
Moyer, 44, has made only one career start against the Diamondbacks, and is seeking his first win against them. He held Arizona to two runs in seven innings on June 28, 1998, when he pitched for Seattle, but didn’t factor in the decision as the Mariners fell 3-2.
Moyer suffered the loss in Philadelphia’s 6-2 defeat at San Francisco on Friday after giving up three runs in seven innings.
“You try to put yourself in a position to hit the ball hard,” said Clark, whose seventh-inning homer snapped a 2-all tie. “You can’t dictate, ‘OK, in this at-bat I’m going to try to hit a home run.’”
Byrnes is batting .375 (12-for-32) in his last nine games, but is a .217 hitter at home this year.
After dropping to 3-6 on their 10-game road trip, the Phillies hope to close it out with a win against an Arizona team they fared well against last season. Philadelphia went 5-1 against the Diamondbacks in 2006, and swept a three-game series at Chase Field.
The Phillies, though, have batted just .188 in losing the first two games of this series. They haven’t been swept in a three-game series since opening the season with three straight losses against Atlanta.
“When we lose, it’s not one person’s fault,” Aaron Rowand told the Phillies’ official Web site. “It’s all of us. It’s not (manager Charlie Manuel’s) fault. We collectively didn’t hit and pull one out on either day. I thought we hit the ball pretty well, but couldn’t get them to drop.”
The Diamondbacks haven’t swept a three-game series from Philadelphia since Aug. 14-16, 2000. They won three straight in a four-game series against the Phillies in 2002.