In his last 13 starts, dating back to an August talk he had with alltime strikeout king Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson (right) has a 6-2 record for a Mariner team that, as of Sunday, had gone 18-28 over that same span when he wasn't the starter. What's more, Johnson, a lefthander, struck out 138 batters in those 13 starts—the highest 13-game total since Ryan himself fanned 141 hitters in 1989. The best 13-game strikeout total by three-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens is 137, five years ago. Three-time, defending major league strikeout king David Cone had his 13-game best of 117 K's last season.
Johnson also struck out more batters than he walked in 12 of those 13 starts. Previously he had fanned more batters than he walked in only 66% of his starts. Here are Johnson's stats before and after he sought Ryan's help.