Despite throwing 54 pitches over the first three innings, Josh Beckett was able to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-0 victory with a no-hitter over the Philadelphia Phillies. Beckett was nothing short of brilliant on the afternoon, and at one point the big right-hander had retired 23 Phillies in a row before walking Jimmy Rollins with two outs in the ninth inning.
Beckett’s no-hitter is the 21st in franchise history for the Dodgers, and it is the first time a Dodger has thrown a no-hitter since Hideo Nomo improbably no-hit the Colorado Rockies in Colorado during the 1996 season.
In going the distance, Beckett struck out six batters and walked three. The final out was recorded on a strikeout of Chase Utley, who had worked a 3-1 count before Beckett came back with two consecutive strikes, both of which were looking.
The performance by Beckett is indicative of the pitcher’s resurgent season. Beckett entered today’s game against the Phillies with a 2.89 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. The victory brings Beckett’s record to 3-1, though his win total is not reflective on the many quality outings he has given the Dodgers this year.
Catching Beckett was Drew Butera, who started in place of everyday catcher A.J. Ellis and should be given some credit for the impressive performance by Beckett. The Dodgers also got plenty of offense, though they did not need much on a day when Beckett would not allow a single hit. Adrian Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Justin Turner played well again, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored.
After Beckett completed the no-hitter, Butera came running in from behind home plate to bear hug a pitcher who had never before thrown a no-hitter, with Gonzalez joining him from first. The first player to reach Beckett from the dugout was none other than Clayton Kershaw, who was seen smiling next to Dan Haren throughout Beckett’s excellent performance.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Beckett’s afternoon was his ability to settle down after laboring through the first three innings. After throwing 24 pitches in the first, 15 in the second and 15 in the third, Beckett ran off a string of innings with low pitch counts before his adrenaline ostensibly got to him in the ninth, bringing his total pitch count to 128.
Hopefully, Beckett’s dominance in this performance will help spur him on as he seeks to continue his impressive start to the 2014 season. In a season dominated by injuries to Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Beckett has been a bright spot for the Dodger rotation, and he has solidified the fifth spot in the rotation in a significant way.
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