-- Good pitching beats good hitting. Great pitching has put the Arizona Diamondbacks up two games to none on the three-time defending champion New York Yankees.
Randy Johnson tossed a three-hitter and Matt Williams hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning as the Diamondbacks posted a 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees in Game Two of the 2001 World Series.
The 38-year-old lefthander built on a dominant effort by Curt Schilling in the series opener and put the Diamondbacks halfway to a world title. In the process, Arizona, in its fourth year of existence, handed New York just its third loss in its last 19 World Series games.
Johnson (1-0) was dominant from the start, allowing just a walk and a single over the first seven innings. He struck out 11 and improved to 3-1 in the postseason. In his last three outings, he has allowed just two runs and 13 hits in 25 innings.
"We know that this is going to be a tough series," Johnson said. "It was nice to take two ballgames but this is far from over."
The shutout was the first since Schilling accomplished the feat with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993. It was the fewest hits allowed in a shutout since Orel Hershiser tossed a three-hitter in game Two of the 1988 World Series against Oakland.
"He was wonderful, he was sensational," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He dominated like he was capable of doing. His control was great. .... He's terrific. He lived up to what he's supposed to be."
"This is everybody's dream to be here," Johnson said. "To be playing the Yankees on the biggest stage in sports."
The Diamondbacks have held New York to three hits in each of the first two games. Prior to Saturday, New York had not been held to three hits in a World Series game since Don Drysdale shut them down in Game Three in 1963.
Williams broke open a 1-0 game and gave Johnson some breathing room with a long homer to left field off Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (0-1). The homer was vindication for Williams, who was booed lustily by the Diamondbacks faithful during the National League Division Series.
"I told you guys (the media) two weeks ago that (the booing) is nothing that a couple of hits won't take care of," Williams said. "I'm glad to contribute."
"I am a huge Matt Williams fan," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "There were a lot of times during the course of this season that a lot of people were ready to give up on Matty, but I never was. I know what he is capable of doing. I know what a warrior he is and I will stick by him as long as he wants to play."
The series shifts to Yankee Stadium for Game Three on Tuesday and New York finally gets an edge in the pitching matchup, sending five-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens to the mound against lefthander Brian Anderson, who will be making his first start in nearly two months.
But the Diamondbacks did what they had to at home and can take comfort knowing that if they merely win the games started by Schilling and Johnson -- the duo is 7-1 in the postseason -- they can knock off the champs.
"We feel pretty good (about heading to New York)," Brenly said. "A lot better than if we were down 2-0 or had split the first two games. ... We know we have a rough road ahead of us. It's no trip to the beach playing in that environment and they play extremely well at home, so we know we have our work cut out for us."
Johnson was brilliant from the start, striking out two batters apiece in the first and second innings. He struck out the side in the third to become just the third pitcher in World Series history to record seven strikeouts over the first three innings.
"He had a tendency to make adjustments quickly," Arizona catcher Damian Miller said. "His demeanor seemed very calm and I like it when he is like that. He remains focused."
Johnson had no strikeouts in the fourth but rebounded to fan two more in the fifth. He did not strike out a batter in the sixth or seventh but also did not allow a ball out of the infield.
"He didn't walk anybody, he just threw strikes with his fastball and slider," Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer said. "Once he got the early lead, he beared down and we couldn't get any runs for Andy. I think we felt confident against him. He just pitched a great game."
Pettitte was not as flashy but nearly matched Johnson. He struck out two in the first, two in the third and one each in the fourth, fifth and sixth. But he caught a few bad breaks in the seventh and was pulled following the inning.
Pettitte allowed four runs and five hits, striking out eight without a walk.
"It's frustrating obviously," Pettitte said. "I felt like I threw a pretty good game. In fact, I felt like I pitched one of the better games I have thrown in the postseason. I made a couple of bad pitches and they did not miss them."
"Andy is such a big-game guy," Torre added. "He's a big guy for me. I learned that in 1996 and that's why I've been an Andy Pettitte fan ever since then, because he never disappoints. He goes out there, prepares properly and pitches his heart out."
The score remained 1-0 until the seventh. Luis Gonzalez was hit by a pitch. After a forceout by Sanders, Bautista singled off the leg of Pettitte and Williams followed with his third career World Series home run.
"I believe it was a fastball," Williams said. "Andy had thrown me one on the previous pitch on the inside corner and he just left this one out over the plate a little bit."
"I made a bad pitch to Bautista in the second and a bad pitch to Matt with two men on," Pettitte conceded.
The Yankees' only threat came in the eighth when Spencer and rookie Alfonso Soriano opened with singles. But Johnson struck out Scott Brosius and induced pinch hitter Luis Sojo to bounce into a double play.
New York can take solace in a couple of trends. They erased a two games to none deficit against the Oakland Athletics in the best-of-five Division Series. The last seven times they went down 2-0 in the World Series, they have come back to win four times.