Diamondbacks 2, Braves 0
Randy Johnson had pretty much done it all -- Cy Young Awards, a no-hitter, strikeout records, a World Series championship.
Only one thing was missing in his brilliant career, that rarest of pitching feats. At the ripe ol' age of 40, the Big Unit took care of that, too.
Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game, retiring all 27 hitters to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Atlanta Braves, 2-0, on Tuesday night.
"A game like this was pretty special," said Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner. "It doesn't come along very often."
It was the 17th perfect game in major league history, the 15th since the modern era began in 1900 and the first since the New York Yankees' David Cone against Montreal on July 18, 1999.
"Everything he's done up to this point pales in comparison," Arizona Manager Bob Brenly said.
Johnson struck out 13 and went to three balls on just one hitter -- Johnny Estrada in the second inning. Estrada fouled off three straight 3-2 pitches before going down swinging.
Late in the game, Johnson sat stoically in the dugout, staring at the ground with his eyes closed, appearing to be almost asleep.
"It didn't faze me," the left-hander said. "Winning the game was the biggest, most important thing."
His manager was a lot more nervous. From the sixth inning on, Brenly remained frozen in the same spot -- sitting on the bat rack, tapping Matt Kata's bat with his knuckles while following one of baseball's oldest superstitions.
"This is one of those nights where a superior athlete was on top of his game," Brenly said. "There was a tremendous rhythm out there. His focus, his concentration, his stuff, everything was as good as it could possibly be."
Cy Young, then 37, had been the oldest to throw a perfect game, doing it in 1904. Johnson, however, didn't act his age, getting stronger as the game went along.
"Not bad for being 40 years old," he said. "Everything was locked in."
While it was the first perfect game of Johnson's career, it was his second no-hitter. He no-hit Detroit while pitching for Seattle on June 2, 1990, walking six.
"That was far from perfect," he recalled. "I was a very young pitcher who didn't have any idea where the ball was going. I was far from being a polished pitcher. Fourteen years later, I've come a long way as far as knowing what I want to do."
Johnson became only the fifth pitcher to throw no-hitters in both the National and American leagues, joining Young, Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo and Nolan Ryan.
The crowd sensed history in the making when J.D. Drew grounded out to end the eighth. The Atlanta fans gave Johnson (4-4) a standing ovation as he trudged off the mound, then another when he batted in the ninth.
The Braves, who started a makeshift infield because of injuries to Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal, were no-hit for the first time in 25 years. Ken Forsch of Houston did it on April 7, 1979
In two straight games, short-handed Atlanta has endured dominating pitching performances. Milwaukee's Ben Sheets struck out 18 on Sunday.
Jason Schmidt pitched a career-best one-hitter with 13 strikeouts, and Barry Bonds gave the San Francisco Giants a much-needed spark in a 1-0 victory over the host Chicago Cubs.
Schmidt (3-2) gave up only Michael Barrett's infield single in the fifth inning, dominating a Cubs lineup missing Sammy Sosa.
Bonds, back in the lineup after missing a weekend series against Pittsburgh because of back spasms, scored the only run after he led off the fourth inning with a seven-pitch walk.
* ASTROS 9, MARLINS 2: Lance Berkman homered and had four of Houston's 15 hits to lead the Astros to the road win.
Brad Ausmus also connected and had three RBI in support of Wade Miller (5-3).
Dontrelle Willis, who threw 91 pitches in a complete-game victory at Houston on May 12, threw 96 pitches in just four innings.
* ROCKIES 8, REDS 3: In Cincinnati, Jeromy Burnitz and Matt Holliday hit back-to-back homers in the second inning and again in the seventh, powering Colorado.
The two solo homers by Burnitz gave him 12 overall and four in his four games at Great American Ball Park.
* EXPOS 3, BREWERS 2: Zach Day won for the first time in more than three weeks, and Montreal -- playing in San Juan -- won its fourth straight.
* PHILLIES 8, DODGERS 7: Mike Lieberthal hit a tiebreaking homer, and Pat Burrell connected twice as Philadelphia won at home.
* METS 5, CARDINALS 4: Kaz Matsui tied the game with a two-out, broken-bat single in the ninth inning, and Cliff Floyd followed with a game-winning single to lift New York at home. Ricky Bottalico (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first victory since 2001.
* PADRES-PIRATES PPD: The scheduled game in Pittsburgh was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tonight.