for this game

Johnson, Diamondbacks shut down Rockies

May 16, 2007 - 4:40 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Randy Johnson looked like his old self instead of an old pitcher.

Johnson pitched six overpowering innings to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Winless in his first four starts of the season, Johnson (1-2) faced the minimum number of batters through six innings. Despite his dominant effort, he was taken out at that point after throwing just 79 pitchers - 56 for strikes

The 43-year-old lefthander allowed just one hit - a bunt single by Willy Taveras in the fourth inning - while matching a season high with nine strikeouts and walking none.

"It's only my fifth start of the season, why push it," Johnson said. "To think that I'm 100 percent right now is far from the case. I'm getting there and the results indicate that but it's too early in the year."

The five-time Cy Young Award winner, back in the National League after spending two seasons with the New York Yankees, avoided starting a season with three losses for the first time since 1989, when he went 0-4 in seven outings.

"I feel like I've been starting to get my stride the last couple of games, every game I've gone six innings at least and things are starting to come around," Johnson said.

It was the first start of the season on the road for Johnson, who improved to 6-4 all-time at Coors Field.

"For the most part I felt in command and that's the biggest thing," Johnson said. "You just have to get ahead, especially in this ballpark."

Tony Pena relieved Johnson to start the seventh. He gave up a one-out single to Troy Tulowitzki but retired Matt Holliday on a double-play grounder.

Having thrown only nine pitches in the seventh, Pena came out for the eighth and retired the side in order, keeping the Colorado batters faced to a minimum.

Closer Jose Valverde gave up a leadoff double to Yorvit Torrealba in the ninth before finishing up for his 13th save in 15 chances.

"We had a full complement of pitchers, and everyone pitched great for us tonight," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said.

Rockies starter Jason Hirsh matched Johnson almost pitch-for-pitch through the first five innings, allowing just two hits, before being touched for a pair of runs in the sixth inning.

Chris Young singled with one out and Conor Jackson followed with a long home run to left off Hirsh to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead. It was Jackson's first homer of the season and the sixth yielded by Hirsh.

"It was a changeup that stayed up, and his changeup was good all night," Jackson said. "I think it was probably the only mistake, he pitched a great game."

Eric Byrnes padded Arizona's lead to 3-0 when he led off the seventh inning with a home run.

Hirsh, who is winless in four starts, allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. The seven hits were the most allowed by him this season.

"Yeah, it ended up being two bad mistakes," Hirsh said. "I think under normal circumstances, if I'm not facing Randy Johnson and he's not on his A-game, I think we score some runs and the game is a lot closer than the final."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 7 0
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - RANDY JOHNSON, TONY PENA (7TH), JOSE VALVERDE (9TH) AND CHRIS
    SNYDER
    COL - JASON HIRSH, JEREMY AFFELDT (9TH) AND YORVIT
    TORREALBA

    HOME RUNS: ARI - CONOR JA

    May 15 10:59 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ERIC BYRNES (6) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF JASON HIRSH.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3, COLORADO 0
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.226, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesMay 15 10:12 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CONOR JACKSON (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JASON HIRSH SCORED CHRIS YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2, COLORADO 0
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: O HUDSON (.309, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesMay 15 9:57 PM