NEW YORK -- Brad Halsey's approach to pitching is to never look back. What's done is done. That can't be controlled. The next pitch. Now that's something else.
Pitching like somebody who's been around for a while instead of just starting out, Halsey weaved out of several early jams and threw seven shutout innings Tuesday night in Arizona's 7-0 victory over the New York Mets.
Manager Bob Melvin couldn't say enough for the way the 24-year-old left-hander went about his business.
"Halsey was magnificent again," Melvin said. "Nothing bothers him. He's focused on the next pitch. That's all he cares about. He's good at that."
Melvin recalled a start in Halsey's hometown of Houston in which he faced Roger Clemens. It hardly disturbed his composure.
Afterward, the manager asked the young pitcher if it hadn't shaken him just a bit.
"He told me it was just another game," Melvin said. "That's the way he is. Very stoic in his demeanor. He concentrates on the next pitch he has to make."
Halsey doesn't think that's any big deal.
"That's the way I pitch," he said. "I try to make the best of the spot I'm in. I maybe try to look at how to go about getting out of the spot I'm in, maybe pitch around a guy with a base open. I try to continue to make pitches and work out of it. That's the way I am: a pretty calm, low key guy."
That helped him against the Mets.
He baffled Carlos Beltran and Mike Piazza, the 3-4 hitters in New York's lineup. They each left five runners on base, four in scoring position.
"I think we helped him out there in a few situations, swinging at bad pitches," Piazza said. "He had pretty good action on his pitches, down in the strike zone tonight. It was one of those nights."
Beltran was returning to the lineup after being sidelined for a week with a sore thigh muscle.
"It's frustrating but what can I do?" Beltran said of his 0-for-4 night. "It isn't the first time I didn't get a hit and it won't be the last."
Jose Cruz Jr. gave Halsey a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with his sixth home run of the season and Craig Counsell delivered two runs with a two-out single in the sixth. Then the Diamondbacks put it away with three more runs in the seventh.
Halsey (4-2), who came to Arizona as part of the package that sent Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees, scattered six hits, striking out six and walking one.
Mike Koplove struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth and Jose Valverde worked a hitless ninth to finish the six-hitter, Arizona's third shutout of the season.
The Diamondbacks struck quickly in the first inning.
Counsell opened with a single, the first of his three hits, and Cruz hit a 2-0 pitch from Kris Benson (3-2) into the Mets bullpen.
In the sixth, Arizona doubled its lead. Chad Tracy opened with a single and was safe on a fielder's choice when Jose Reyes threw late on an attempted force play at second. Halsey bunted the runners to second and third and Counsell singled them home.
Arizona added three more in the seventh against reliever Dae-Sung Koo on singles by Troy Glaus and Shawn Green, a sacrifice fly by Tracy, an infield single by Halsey and a bases-loaded walk to Counsell.
The Mets threatened in the bottom half of the first when Reyes, who had three hits, opened with a double, and moved to third on a sacrifice by Miguel Cairo. But Halsey got Beltran on a liner to third and struck out Piazza to end the inning.
Mike Cameron singled with one out in the second and stole second. Halsey then struck out David Wright and Doug Mientkiewicz, leaving the runner stranded.
The Mets loaded the bases in the third on hits by Reyes and Cairo, a double steal and a two-out walk to Piazza after Beltran struck out. This time Halsey escaped by getting Cliff Floyd on a grounder.
Reyes had his third hit and Cairo followed with his second giving the Mets runners at first and second with one out in the fifth. Again, Halsey retired Beltran and Piazza on short flyballs to end the threat.
Beltran came into the game batting .340 against left-handers and Piazza was hitting .367 against them. Each was hitless against Halsey. ... Piazza, who has had trouble throwing all season, bounced a throw to second on an attempted sacrifice in the second inning and was charged with an error. ... Cairo extended his hitting streak to nine games.
|Players of the Game|
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|Craig Counsell, 2B||5||1||3||3||1||0||2||.318|
|Jose Valverde, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Cruz Jr., CF||5||1||1||2||0||2||5||.263|
|Luis Terrero, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||4||0||0||0||1||2||0||.293|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.259|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||1||2||0||1||0||2||.263|
|Chad Tracy, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.273|
|Royce Clayton, SS||5||2||1||0||0||2||1||.230|
|Chris Snyder, C||4||0||2||0||1||1||2||.223|
|Brad Halsey, P||3||0||1||1||0||1||2||.048|
|Mike Koplove, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Matt Kata, PH-2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.214|
|a-doubled for Koplove in the 9th|
|2B - Craig Counsell (16, Benson), Royce Clayton (11, Koo), Matt Kata (2, DeJean)|
|HR - Jose Cruz Jr. (6, Benson)|
|SF - Chad Tracy (5)|
|SH - Brad Halsey (3)|
|RBI - Craig Counsell 3 (18), Jose Cruz Jr. 2 (17), Chad Tracy (25), Brad Halsey (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Craig Counsell 3 (6), Brad Halsey (1)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Brad Halsey (W,4-2)||7||6||0||0||1||6||0||2.98|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brad Halsey 113-80, Mike Koplove 12-9, Jose Valverde 14-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Halsey 7-8|
|Batters Faced - Brad Halsey 28, Mike Koplove 3, Jose Valverde 4|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Mike DeJean, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Miguel Cairo, 2B||3||0||2||0||0||1||0||.306|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.293|
|Mike Piazza, C||3||0||0||0||1||2||3||.242|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.271|
|Mike Cameron, RF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.372|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.292|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.210|
|Kris Benson, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Dae-Sung Koo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Manny Aybar, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Chris Woodward, PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.288|
|a-lined out for Aybar in the 7th|
|2B - Jose Reyes (10, Halsey)|
|SH - Miguel Cairo (6)|
|SB - Jose Reyes (11, 3rd base off Halsey/Snyder), Miguel Cairo (7, 2nd base off Halsey/Snyder), Mike Cameron (5, 2nd base off Halsey/Snyder)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Cairo-Reyes-Mientkiewicz|
|E - Mike Piazza (2, Wild throw)|
|New York Mets|
|Kris Benson (L,3-2)||6||8||4||4||2||7||1||4.21|
|IBB - Snyder by Dae-Sung Koo|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kris Benson 113-70, Dae-Sung Koo 41-25, Manny Aybar 6-3, Mike DeJean 25-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Benson 5-7, Mike DeJean 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Kris Benson 29, Dae-Sung Koo 8, Manny Aybar 1, Mike DeJean 8|
|Attendance - 33955|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Bruce Froemming, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Jerry Meals|