Blog Entry

Big Unit eyes bullpen comeback

Posted on: September 14, 2009 9:28 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2009 12:25 am

SAN FRANCISCO -- Faced with a must-win series against Colorado this week -- that's must-win every night, not must-win as in must take two of three -- San Francisco's bullpen has help on the horizon: Randy Johnson threw 48 pitches' worth of a simulated game Monday and hopes to pitch in and help the Giants bullpen soon.

It won't be during the Rockies' series, but manager Bruce Bochy said that if Johnson comes through it and feels fine on Tuesday, he'll likely be activated soon.

He hasn't pitched since July 5 because of a torn rotator cuff.

"It's not strained or bruised, it's torn and I've been out for two months," Johnson said following his mid-afternoon workout. "I've recovered from the injury as much as I can."

Meaning: It's time to roll.

"I know [the Giants] bullpen is pretty beat up and we're playing a lot of teams with left-handed hitters," Johnson said, anticipating spot relief duty.

Bochy was pleased with what he saw, and everyone knows it's all-hands-on-deck now.

"It says a lot about Randy and how competitive he is," Bochy said.

Johnson looked strong, and backup outfielder John Bowker no doubt can attest to that: Bowker was hit by a Johnson pitch early in the outing. The only Giant who got decent wood on the ball was utility infielder Kevin Frandsen, who sliced a ball toward right-center field.

Johnson technically threw 53 pitches overall, if you include his warm-up tosses. There does not seem to be a sense from Johnson or Bochy that the big left-hander needs another simulated game before pitching in a real game.

"What happened today was encouraging," Johnson said. "I feel I'm ready to go. The first step is to be activated. The next step is finding out when I'm going to pitch again. Hopefully, it will be in a real game."

Likes: Randy Johnson working in a quiet ballpark at 3:30 in the afternoon. ... Terrific run along the Embarcadero on a stunningly gorgeous Monday morning in San Francisco. You could not have ordered up better weather. ... Lefty O'Doul's in San Francisco. I can still vouch for the corned beef.

Dislikes: Seeing Hall of Famer Willie McCovey struggling to walk with his arm brace/crutches. If only Stretch's knee injuries could have come with medicine and surgeries as advanced as they are today. ... The Virgin Records Megastore in downtown San Francisco? Out of business. ... Kanye West apparently is a punk.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
"Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
"Half way home, we'll be there by morning
"Through the Mississippi darkness
"Rolling down to the sea.
"And all the towns and people seem
"To fade into a bad dream
"And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
"The conductor sings his song again,
"The passengers will please refrain
"This train's got the disappearing railroad blues"

-- Steve Goodman, City of New Orleans

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