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Family proud, supportive of Johnson

Family proud, supportive of Johnson

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WASHINGTON -- When Randy Johnson walked into the interview room minutes after making baseball history Thursday night, the reporters got their tape recorders, pens and pads ready. But his family quickly jumped up to give him a mini-standing ovation to salute their favorite pitcher.

Johnson said several times during his talk with the media how much it meant to have many family and friends at Nationals Park watching when he became the 24th pitcher in Major League history to win his 300th game. He threw six strong innings to help the Giants to a 5-1 victory over Washington, but the Johnson family truly had a strong presence on this night.

"I'm just happy that my family and friends were able to come," Johnson said. "My son being batboy today ... these are the kind of moments that I relish the most. My family's been with me the whole time. They've seen what I've done."

They enjoyed watching what Johnson did in this game. Tanner Johnson, Randy's son, served as the San Francisco batboy. He was ready to do so Wednesday night before rain postponed the game one day.

The 13-year-old is built exactly like his father, tall and lean, and loved talking afterward about his dad's accomplishment.

"It was really cool," Tanner said. "A bunch of people have already texted my phone, saying, 'Congratulations to your dad, I've seen you on TV.' It's pretty cool knowing that everyone's been seeing the game. It's just nice knowing that people care."

Tanner and his mom, Lisa, were joking around with a game ball she was holding while standing outside the San Francisco locker room after the game.

"Ooh, I'll take it," Tanner said, reaching out for the ball.

"No, I've got it," Lisa said, with a laugh. "I'll hold on to it."

Johnson gave up just one run on two hits in six innings. The left-hander threw only 78 pitches and came out after the sixth when bruising his left shoulder following a play where he made a dive and landed on it making a throw to first.

The Giants held a 2-1 lead at that point. Washington loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth before closer Brian Wilson struck out Adam Dunn on a very close 3-2 pitch.

San Francisco then broke it open with three runs in the ninth, getting everyone ready for a celebration.

"It was a little scary for a while there," Lisa Johnson said with a smile. "I liked having those extra few runs. It's exciting. I'm just proud of him, for him. It will take a few days to settle in."

Their 11-year-old daughter, Willow, admitted that bottom of the eighth inning was tough to watch.

"When Adam Dunn was up to bat, 3-2 [count]; that was pretty scary," she said. "I'm very happy for him."

Willow and her 9-year-old sister, Lexi, both said everyone in the family was proud of their dad and what he's accomplished in a long career.

"I'm excited for him because I think he was waiting for this day a really long time," Lexi said. "My mom [talked to him, and] she was like, 'Be fierce and focused, you've got to win this game.'"

Johnson was saddened by the fact that his father wasn't there, as he died several years ago after being a big influence in the Big Unit's life.

"I think about him every time I go out to the mound," Johnson said. "Over the last 17 years, there's a lot of things he hasn't seen. It kind of puts things into perspective, and I think I really learned a lot from him."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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