May 12, 2004: Matsui's Leadoff Homer Stands Up

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Date: May 12, 2004
Mets starter: Tom Glavine
Mets: 1
Diamondbacks: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Glavine
Key player(s): Kazuo Matsui, Tom Glavine
Key play: Matsui’s home run in 1st

The Mets played the Diamondbacks on a Wednesday night in Phoenix. After dropping the first two games of a four-game series, the Mets went up against Arizona ace Randy Johnson. Kazuo Matsui led off the game with a home run that proved to be enough as the Mets came away with a 1-0 win.

Matsui hit the Big Unit’s second pitch over the wall to start the top of the first inning. Johnson followed up by retiring Joe McEwing on a pop-up to second baseman Matt Kata. Mike Piazza drew a walk and Shane Spencer singled. A ground ball by Ty Wigginton to third baseman Chad Tracy forced Spencer at second. Jason Phillips flied out to center fielder Steve Finley to end the inning. Mets’ starter Tom Glavine then pitched a perfect bottom half.

From the second inning to the seventh, Glavine and Johnson each pitched scoreless ball. The Mets’ only hit off the tall lefthander (who recorded seven strikeouts) was a single by McEwing leading off the sixth. Meanwhile, the D’Backs collected only three singles off Glavine and left six runners on base. Neither team had a runner reach third base during the six-inning span.

Arizona reliever Mike Koplove retired Glavine and Matsui on infield grounders to begin the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Karim Garcia took a called third strike for the final out of the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Robby Hammock reached first base on a throwing error by shortstop Matsui. Luis Gonzalez hit a force play grounder to third baseman Wigginton. Mets’ reliever Braden Looper came in to pitch and got Shea Hillenbrand to hit a ground ball to Matsui for a force play that ended the inning. Koplove then retired the Mets in order in the top of the ninth.

Finley led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a ground out to second baseman Danny Garcia. Danny Bautista was hit by a pitch and Alex Cintron flied out to left fielder Spencer. Looper then retired Kata on a grounder to Wigginton to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Matsui’s leadoff homer stood up.