Randy Johnson of the San Francisco Giants will make his first try for victory No. 300 tonight in Washington.
The last pitcher who won his 300th on the first attempt was Phil Niekro in 1985.
Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine failed in their first attempts at winning No. 300.
Johnson, who has a career record of 299-164, recently told Sports Illustrated he is motivated by something he heard said as Glavine closed in on his 300th victory.
The Big Unit recounted that New York Yankees teammate Al Leiter told him in 2005 that Glavine probably would be the last to 300. (Glavine got there in 2007)
"I looked at him and went, 'Oh, really?' " Johnson told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. "The thought may have been in the back of my head, but I wouldn't be confident enough to say to anyone, 'I'm going to do it.' "
Now it's practically pre-ordained.
Trivia time. Johnson is one of four pitchers to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues. Who were the other three?
More Randy. Jeff Faraudo of the Contra Costa Times in California's Bay Area interviewed Bob Allen, Johnson's catcher at Livermore High in 1981 and 1982.
"When he was off, he was off," said Allen, an all-East Bay Athletic League catcher in 1981, which was Johnson's junior season. "But when he was on, nobody could hit him."
A summer earlier, Allen had played summer-league ball with Mark Davis, who won the Cy Young Award with San Diego in 1989.
"My first pitch from Mark Davis was a fastball that hit me in the facemask," Allen said. "But Randy was faster.
Trivia answer. Roger Clemens won six times with three American League teams, then won with Houston in 2004; Pedro Martinez won with Montreal in 1997, then twice more with Boston; Gaylord Perry won in 1972 with Cleveland and in 1978 with San Diego.