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Sunday, June 3, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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M's Keep Silent During No-Hitter

According to baseball tradition, no one in the dugout is to mention ``no-hitter'' to a pitcher who is pitching a no-hitter.

However, the Seattle Mariners just went about their normal routines last night as Randy Johnson worked his way toward the first no-no in team history, 2-0 over the Detroit Tigers.

``It was easy,'' catcher Scott Bradley said. ``When Randy pitches, no one talks to him anyway.''

Johnson, long, lean and loosey-goosey, is your quintessential California left-hander. He walks - and works - to his own beat.

Not that he is an unpleasant fellow. He'll talk photography any time. But not on game day, when he gets, in his own words, ``moody . . . purposefully disagreeable.''

As evidence of going his own way, there is his replay of his historic game. ``I wasn't even thinking of a no-hitter,'' he said. ``I didn't let myself because you could lose it at any time. Too much can happen and you may wind up let down.''

Johnson admitted that the vision of the possibility began to creep into his consciousness in the eighth inning. ``I went for it then,'' he said. ``I started to rear back and let it fly. My thinking was `if it's going to happen, it's going to happen.

``I'm a fastball pitcher, and I'm going down throwing fastballs. I'm not going to lose this on anything but my best pitch.''

So Johnson, who had only three previous complete games and never had a shutout, closed with a rush. He struck out eight in all, but fanned

five of the last 11 batters he faced and three of the final four. According to the Seattle radar gun, the hardest pitch he threw was his last - a fastball that Bradley had to jump for.

Prior to those final innings, there was some question of Johnson's best pitch. ``He couldn't get his fastball where he wanted it in the early innings,'' Bradley said. ``Then he suddenly found it and we caught the Tigers looking for breaking balls later in the game.

``Randy went after them with high fastballs and when Randy Johnson has his good high fastball, no one is going to catch up to it.''

Prior to this 139-pitch - 87 strikes, 49 balls - effort, Johnson was best known for leading the league in home runs allowed.

``I had to make an adjustment,'' he said. ``So before the game, we decided I was going to establish my fastball inside. That may have been the key to my success tonight.''

When it was over, Johnson said he did not know how to react. He'd thrown no-hitters in high school and legion ball back in Livermore, Calif., but this was the big leagues and the second no-hitter thrown this year.

``So I just let go,'' he said. ``It's quite an accomplishment.''

Manager Jim Lefebvre said as pleased as he was, he was not surprised by Johnson's no-hitter. ``Two weeks ago, he fanned nine in Milwaukee, walked six and gave up only two hits - both by the same batter,'' he said. ``Every time Randy goes out there, he's got the ability and the stuff to throw a game like this.''

Lefebvre credited Bradley with calling a ``brilliant game.''

Indeed, Johnson said that he and his catcher were so ``in synch that many times he'd call for a pitch and I'd already have the grip for that pitch on the ball.''

Bradley smiled at the compliment, then stopped: ``I'm not so sure,'' he said, laughing again, ``that I want to be in `synch' with Randy Johnson.''

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MARINER NO-HIT BIDS

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Pitcher Opponent Date No-hit bid Score

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Randy Johnson Detroit June 2, 1990 9 innings 2-0

Brian Holman Oakland April 20, 1990 8 2/3 innings 6-1

Mark Langston Toronto May 10, 1989 8 innings 2-3

Mike Moore Milwaukee May 8, 1985 8 innings 4-2

Bill Swift New York Aug. 30, 1986 7 2/3 innings 1-0

Bob Stoddard Boston July 23, 1983 7 2/3 innings 5-0

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MARINER ONE-HITTERS

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Pitcher Opponent Date Score

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Brian Holman Oakland April 20, 1990 6-1

Jim Beattie Kansas City Sept. 29, 1983 4-0

Mike Trujillo Kansas City Sept. 20, 1986 3-0

Mark Langston Texas Sept. 24, 1988 3-0

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Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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