All-Star Game Remember When: Randy Johnson vs. John Kruk
Remember back in 1993, when John Kruk wanted nothing to do with fellow All-Star and fellow lefty Randy Johnson? Let's take a look back.
During the 1993 All-Star Game at Baltimore's Camden Yards, Phillies first baseman John Kruk stepped in against fire-balling lefty Randy Johnson of the Mariners. As you'll soon see, it was not a hotly contested encounter ...
The thing is, in the first half of the '93 season, Kruk owned a slash line of .300/.391/.436 against lefties, so he was hardly helpess against same-side pitching in those days. Of course, Johnson was on his way to striking out more than 300 batters that season.
How tough was Johnson on lefties? During his astounding peak, 1993-2004, Johnson limited left-handed batters to a .195/280/.293 slash line. Over his entire career, opposing managers ceded the platoon advantage just 12.3 percent of the time.
Throw in the triple-digit heat and the occasional lack of control (calculated or otherwise), and it's easy to understand why Kruk was primed to bail after that first pitch. As well, Kruk, who somehow played parts of 10 major-league seasons while being struck by a pitch just twice (HT: @funbaseballfact), was presumably not fond of being pitched tight.
The good news is that even though Kruk would spend half a season in the AL in 1995, he would not again have the diminishing misfortune of facing the Big Unit.