04/01/2002 6:46 pm ET
Big Unit overpowers San Diego
Johnson wins another opener
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- It was a vintage Randy Johnson performance.
The Arizona left-hander continued his Opening Day magic by blanking the San
Diego Padres, 2-0, on six hits Monday before a sellout crowd of 47,025 at
Bank One Ballpark.
Johnson fanned eight Padres, boosting his mark to 5-0 in Diamondback openers
and threw his 31st career shutout, eighth for D-Backs.
"We like it when our starter throws 101-mph on his next-to-last pitch of the
day," said manager Bob Brenly after watching Johnson toss 128 pitches
"The big guy was sniffing the barn and he wanted to finish. He showed me why
he is who he is."
Johnson, who has had 10 career Opening Days and upped his lifetime record
against the Padres to 8-0, took the victory and impressive performance in
"I was pleased that I was able to keep us in the game," said Johnson.
"Overall, we had great defense by everybody out there. I extended myself
today and I feel good about how I pitched. It's good to get off on a good
The 6-foot-10 Cy Young Award winner was hardly smooth during the first three
innings, throwing 52 pitches and getting deep into the count.
But he had allowed only two baserunners to that point and settled into
consistency over the final seven innings. He also helped himself defensively
by starting a 1-4-3 double play to end the seventh.
Mark Grace, Danny Bautista and Tony Womack were offensive stars. Grace hit a
384-foot homer to lead off the seventh inning, and Bautista drove in Womack
for the first D-Back run with a double in the third inning off losing
Kevin Jarvis (0-1).
The Diamondbacks were helped, as usual, by solid defensive play from Gold
Glove first baseman Grace, who easily scooped up three dirt-skipping throws
by Womack and smiled after each pickup.
"I got a lot of action over there," he said. "Tony went to the well a few
times but I told him it was better than missing me high. ... So if you're
gonna miss me, miss me low."
Right-hander Jarvis gave up only five hits over seven innings.
Bautista could have cost Arizona a run in the first inning. After Womack's
base hit, Bautista singled to left then tried to reach second, but was
out by Padres left fielder Ron Gant. Womack was stranded at third.
Bautista atoned for that aggressive gamble, however, by doubling in
with a shot to the left-field wall in the third.
The teams play again Tuesday night (7:05 Arizona time) with Curt
opposing the Padres' Brian Tollberg.
Rich Draper is the site writer for azdiamondbacks.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.