Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 1
PHOENIX (AP)—Arizona’s Randy Johnson never likes to be pulled from a game.
His departure in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies left him particularly perturbed.
Padilla (1-4) allowed one run—Steve Finley’s homer—on five hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one intentionally.
“He’s pitched good games,” Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. “It’s good to see him finally get a win.”
With the score tied 1-all and a runner on first, Johnson (3-3) was pulled by manager Bob Brenly after striking out 10 in 6 1-3 innings.
“I wish he’d come out and ask first before he takes me out,” Johnson said. “He’s the manager, he makes the decisions, but I’m pitching on an extra day’s rest and I felt like I was in complete control of the game.”
Johnson had thrown 99 pitches.
“He had a good fastball, a good slider, a good splitter. Everything was working well,” Brenly said, “but in my estimation he was starting to tire a little bit at the end of the sixth inning.”
Brenly said that after Thome’s home run, he decided to let Johnson face one more batter. When Johnson walked Mike Lieberthal, that was it. The Phillies were ecstatic to see Johnson go.
“He’s unbelievable,” Bowa said. “He can spot the slider, the split, the fastball. He still hits 95. We were very fortunate Thome put us on the board, and I was glad to see him out of the game.”
Johnson, who beat Padilla and the Phillies 6-4 last Saturday in Philadelphia, struck out four of five batters before Thome hit a soaring fly ball that just reached the left-field seats with one out in the seventh inning.
“He was really pitching a great game,” Thome said. “With Randy, he’s so dominating, you’ve got to try to hit a mistake, and I think that’s what I did.”
It was Thome’s eighth homer in 13 games, and his first hit off the Big Unit in four career at-bats. After Lieberthal—who was 3-for-4, Johnson was relieved by Mike Koplove.
“He was pitching great,” Thome said of Johnson. “He had great stuff, a good slider. His heater was getting on you. Anytime you can get him out of the game, yeah, it definitely helps.”
Koplove gave up a first-pitch double to David Bell, then Jimmy Rollins singled in Lieberthal to put the Phillies up 2-1. Pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee bounced to second, and Arizona couldn’t turn the double play, allowing Bell to score to make it 3-1.
Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
Finley’s leadoff home run on a 1-2 pitch in the fourth inning cleared the swimming pool in right-center, his ninth homer of the season.
Johnson allowed two runs on four hits and two walks.
Luis Gonzalez nearly had an inside-the-park home run in the first inning, when his smash to center field bounced off the corner of the porch there and rolled away from the pursing outfielders. Gonzalez rounded third but decided not to try for home.
Lieberthal and Bell singled to start the Philadelphia fifth, but Rollins grounded into a double play and Padilla struck out.
Finley doubled to left-center with two outs in the sixth, but Danny Bautistastruck out looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the innings.
The Phillies had scored only 13 runs in Padilla’s last six starts. … The Diamondbacks began a 10-game home stand. … Arizona’s Shea Hillenbrand failed to come through twice with a runner on third and two outs—lining out in the first and bouncing out to the pitcher in the third. … Johnson had his 194th double-digit strikeout game, and third in seven starts this season. … The Big Unit needs 68 strikeouts to become the fourth to reach 4,000 in his career. …Phillies 2B Placido Polanco left after seven innings with a strainedleft calf muscle and was placed on the 15-day DL after the game.