Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 1
DENVER (AP)—Randy Johnson hasn’t let trade rumors affect him on the mound.
But “Tradegate” is starting to take a toll on him mentally.
Johnson allowed four runs and struck out six in what might have been his last start for Arizona, then vented his frustrations after the Colorado Rockies beat him and the Diamondbacks 4-1 Friday night.
“Everything just takes a life of it’s own,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m in a fish bowl, which is really unfortunate because all I want to do is win and play and have fun. The only thing that is missing in `Tradegate’ is the paparazzi in my back yard or collecting garbage out of my garbage can.”
Rumors have been circulating for weeks about where Johnson will end up. The latest has him headed to either Anaheim, the New York Yankees or the Dodgers before Saturday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
There also have been stories that Johnson gave the Diamondbacks a short list of teams he’d go to, that he has vetoed potential deals and that he wanted a contract extension.
And it’s starting to wear him out.
“I’m kind of getting tired of everybody writing their own little story,” Johnson said. “I haven’t said anything since the All-Star break about this and it’s taking a life of its own. If this was a tin can filled with water there would be no water in the can, there are so many holes.”
At least the speculation hasn’t seemed to bother the left-hander while he’s pitching.
Johnson gave up a leadoff single to Aaron Miles in the first inning, but didn’t allow another baserunner over the next five. The Rockies finally broke through against Johnson in the seventh inning, with Royce Clayton leading off with his seventh homer.
Johnson (10-9) struck out Todd Helton and Vinny Castilla, but Larry Walker and Preston Wilson followed with singles. Matt Holliday then hit a high fly down the line that right fielder Danny Bautista couldn’t come up with. Two runs scored on the triple and Todd Greene followed with a run-scoring double to make it 4-1.
Johnson was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning after allowing six hits and no walks in his second straight frustrating start against Jason Jennings and the Rockies. The Big Unit is 0-3 in his last five starts despite allowing nine earned runs over 34 innings.
“I would like to go out and I guess get some wins for this team,” Johnson said. “That’s my objective. Everything else is out of my control.”
Including the way Jennings has pitched against him.
Colorado beat Arizona 3-2 on Sunday after the Diamondbacks’ bullpen blew a dominating performance by Johnson—14 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings— in the ninth inning.
Johnson wasn’t as good this time around, but Jennings (10-8) was.
The right-hander gave up plenty of baserunners in the first couple of innings, but that’s nothing new. He worked around most of the trouble—again— allowing a run on Bautista’s RBI single in the third inning and not much else.
Jennings got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning and didn’t come out for the eighth after allowing nine hits with four walks to join Pedro Astacio as the only Rockies pitchers to win 10 games in three straight seasons. Jennings allowed one run in eight innings against Arizona on Sunday and has won four of his past five decisions.
“It almost felt like a carbon copy of the game in Arizona,” said Jennings, 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA against Arizona this season. “We were really close for seven innings and when we were able to get a few runs, we did it.”
Shawn Chacon finished for his 24th save in 31 chances to finish off Colorado’s sixth win in nine games, but the Rockies are hoping to make a bit of trade news as well.
Colorado agreed to a deal that would send catcher Charles Johnson to the Dodgers, but it hasn’t gone through because Johnson was still deciding if he wants to waive his no-trade clause.
Johnson didn’t play against Arizona and said he probably won’t make a decision until just before the trade deadline.
“I haven’t told them what I’m going to do yet,” he said. “I’m still in the process of thinking about it.”
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle turned 47 Friday. … Wilson was charged with an error in the fifth when he dropped Bautista’s flyball, but made up for it with a diving catch in the gap to end the inning. … Astacio won 10 games from 1998-00. … Bautista came out in the eighth inning after aggravating a left hamstring strain.