Johnson became the oldest pitcher to throw a shutout in the World Series. He gave up only three hits and one walk while striking out 11, tying a record set by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Sandy Koufax in 1963 of 411 strikeouts in the regular season and postseason. New York's righthanded hitters jackknifed in fear as Johnson pounded the inside corner with 93-to-96-mph fastballs on many of the 25 pitches called for strikes. "You give up on that ball inside," New York rightfielder Shane Spencer said after the game, "because he can throw 89-mph sliders that keep running in at you. He kept hitting his spots."
"He was so good I thought he was going to throw a no-no," Schilling said of Johnson. "When they got a hit in the fifth"—a single to right by Posada—"I turned to somebody in the dugout and said, 'That's when you know you're facing a stud: when an opposite-field single in the fifth qualifies as a rally."
Until last weekend the Yankees hadn't been held to three hits in a World Series game since 1963, when the Dodgers' Don Drysdale shut them down in Game 3. In throwing back-to-back three-hitters, the Arizona staff became the first to allow only six hits over the first two games of a Series since the 1939 Yankees shackled the Cincinnati Reds behind Red Ruffing and Monte Pearson. Only Three Finger Brown and Ed Reulbach of the '06 Cubs did better, permitting the Chicago White Sox five hits.
Just call the Diamondbacks' duo Schilling and Thrilling. Arizona moved to within two wins of a world championship because its two aces—"1A and 1A," Morgan calls them—this year were 50-13 through Sunday. (The rest of the staff was 51-60.) After Schilling won Game 1, centerfielder Steve Finley gladly turned over the baseball he'd caught for the final out to Jerry Colangelo, the Diamondbacks' managing general partner. Following Game 2, Colangelo approached Johnson about obtaining the souvenir of that final out, which Counsell had given Johnson after catching Jeter's soft liner. Johnson had waited too long for this. He wasn't about to relinquish the ball. "My first World Series start? A shutout? Against the Yankees?" he said. "That's pretty good."
Johnson took home the ball, along with something else that seemed almost as tangible for him and his teammates. "When I'm done with my career," he said, "I'll always be able to look back and say I played in the World Series. I made it. That's all any player would want to say."