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From history to future: Unit looks forward

Unit looks forward after history

MIAMI -- To Randy Johnson, his performance now can be viewed properly in terms of how it affects the team, not just his personal record.

Johnson has repeated since he joined the Giants last offseason that his goal was to help the club improve, not to secure the five victories he needed to reach 300. With Johnson having achieved the latter Thursday night, he hopes that attention will be paid to his efforts to hasten the Giants' turnaround.

"The part that I really came here for starts from my next start until the end of the year," Johnson said Friday in the wake of his six-inning, one-run outing in the Giants' 5-1 triumph at Washington.

When that next start will come is an issue. Johnson's bruised left shoulder, which he sustained as he hit the turf after chasing down Anderson Hernandez's sixth-inning comebacker, has put him on day-to-day playing status. "It's pretty sore," Johnson said. "That's why I came out of the game, not because I was 45."

Though Johnson said that he's "not too worried" about his shoulder, his iffy health adds to the disarray in the starting rotation created by Wednesday's rainout at Washington, which forced him and Matt Cain to pitch Thursday. That left the Giants without anybody who can pitch on their regular four days' rest here on Monday.

The Giants are unlikely to start Cain on Monday on three days' rest, one fewer than usual. Instead, they could opt to summon Billy Sadler, who has thrived as a starter with Triple-A Fresno, on a temporary basis until Johnson's ready to resume pitching. Sadler was 5-1 with a 4.37 ERA in his first 10 starts. "We have a couple of days to get this figured out," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Meanwhile, Johnson could bask in becoming the 24th pitcher in Major League history to win 300 games.

"It all has kind of sunk in much more so than any of the individual accomplishments, simply because those were one-game or one-year accomplishments," Johnson said. "This has been a combination of 21 years. ... Really a reflection of my whole career."

Whenever Johnson isn't undergoing treatment for his shoulder, he can use his spare time to return an overload of congratulatory messages. Johnson said that he received 50 text messages, close to 40 voice-mail messages and, as of early Friday morning, 40 e-mails from friends, long-lost acquaintances and former coaches and teammates.

"It was pretty nice to get as many as I did," Johnson said.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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