NEW YORK (AP) -- Randy Johnson showed there were no lingering
effects from last week's grueling start.
"He was a man on a mission today,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly
said. "He threw 149 pitches last time out and it was hot, humid
conditions today. We weren't sure what we would get out of him
today. The guys in the bullpen were on alert, but Randy handled
things by himself.''
Coming off the longest outing in the majors this year Wednesday
in Montreal and pitching in 89-degree heat didn't slow the Big
"It might have affected me in the past, but it obviously didn't
affect me today,'' he said.
Johnson (16-4) came within two of Jim Deshaies' record for most
strikeouts to start a game and didn't allow a hit through five
"Today's game was a mental and physical grind,'' Johnson said.
"It was a 2-0 ballgame, I threw a lot of pitches the start before,
and the weather was tough. I was just really focused to get through
the ninth inning.''
"I just tried to get it over as fast as I could,'' Williams
said. "He runs too good.''
New York's only other hit was a clean single by Mo Vaughn to
lead off the seventh.
Johnson struck out 11 and threw 114 pitches for his first
shutout since Opening Day against San Diego and the 32nd of his
"The game dictates what I need to do,'' Johnson said. "If we
score a lot of runs, there's no need for me to be out there. But in
a 2-0 game when I hadn't thrown a lot of pitches, why not go out if
I still feel good?''
Williams homered and Craig Counsell hit an RBI double off Shawn
Estes (4-9) as Arizona won for the 12th time in 14 games.
The Mets lost their fifth straight and were swept in a four-game
series at home for the first time since June 1995 against
"It was a tough four-game turnaround,'' manager Bobby Valentine
said. "It just shows how fast things can turn around.''
Johnson's dominance was typified in a sequence to Mike Piazza in
the fourth inning.
Johnson started the at-bat by blowing a 96 mph fastball by the
Mets' slugger. Piazza then swung over an 86 mph slider, a pitch
that crossed the left-handed batter's box and ended near Piazza's
feet. After a foul and a ball, Johnson recorded his seventh
strikeout on another wicked slider.
"In his early years, he was just slinging it up there,'' Vaughn
said. "You can see that his motion is really solid. He pinpoints
where he wants his pitches to go. Then you add that velocity to
that, and he's very tough.''
Fans gave a loud ovation when John Valentin walked with one out
in the fifth for the Mets' first runner, and they cheered batters
just for making contact.
New York's only threat came in the fifth. After Valentin's walk,
Joe McEwing hit a grounder to third base. Williams had trouble
getting a grip and threw the ball into right field, allowing
Valentin to take third on the error.
Johnson bore down, getting Timo Perez to foul out on a bunt
attempt before intentionally walking Rey Ordonez on a 3-1 pitch to
load the bases. Johnson fell behind 2-0 to Estes before recovering
for his ninth strikeout.
After going through three subpar starts because of a bad back
after the All-Star break, Johnson is back to the form that won him
four Cy Young Awards, including three straight.
He is 3-0 with an 0.36 earned-run average in his past three starts and passed
teammate Curt Schilling to retake the major league lead in
strikeouts with 226. It was Johnson's 10th double-digit strikeout
game of the season and 181st of his career.
"Under the conditions, for him to go out and dominate the way
he did today was remarkable,'' Brenly said. "I've run out of words
to describe this guy.''
The Diamondbacks went ahead in the fifth inning when Quinton
McCracken hit a one-out triple and scored on Counsell's double down
the right-field line.
Williams added a solo homer in the sixth, his fourth in 22
career at-bats against Estes, to make it 2-0. The Diamondbacks hit
nine homers in the series, tying a franchise record set last year
against the Dodgers.
Estes allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He
is 1-2 in his last four starts despite a 1.67 ERA. ... McEwing, who
has had success against Johnson in the past, went 0-for-3, lowering
his career average against the Big Unit to .250 in 24 at-bats. ...
Johnson is 33-6 in his last 49 appearances, including the