Randy Johnson got his 300th career victory today, and while it wasn't his most impressive of performances, I say congratulations. Some of my fondest memories of working with the Astros come from 1998 when the Astros traded for the Big Unit at the trading deadline.
In two months, he went 10-1 for the team, and I'm pretty sure his ERA was under 2.00. I don't remember him ever having an off-night. I got to Nolan Ryan in his last year with the Astros, and he wasn't that dominating, and I never saw another pitcher in an Astros uniform dominate for an extended period like that.
The Dome was packed every night when he pitched. And the place was electric. I was at some of the games that Roger Clemens pitched at MMP when he graced Houston with his presence, but MMP never felt as electric as it did on the nights when Johnson pitched in the Dome.
The Astros went out in the first round of the playoffs, and Johnson departed for Phoenix after that. The Astros returned to the playoffs in 1999, and they made the World Series in 2005, but I've never quite felt the same about the Astros as I did that year. That team just seemed special -- more so than any of the teams that have played at MMP -- and I still feel that if any team was ever going to win the World Series for Houston, it was that 1998 season led by Randy Johnson.