The first no hitter in major league baseball this season is also the first for Josh Beckett in his career, playing the entire game as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 behind his exquisite throwing and some big batting from Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Jeff Turner.
Beckett had a complete game as he struck out six and walked three, never really coming close to getting in trouble and allowing a hit against a lineup that is just below the league average when it comes to hitting, and boasts two former NL MVPs and four former All-Stars. The Phillies were able to get a runner into scoring position only once through Chase Utley, as the .328 hitter finished with an 0-for-3, similar to the rest of his teammates.
Beckett needed 128 pitches to complete hit no-no, which is the most pitches thrown in a no-no since Tim Lincecum threw 148 in 2013. It also took Beckett 321 career starts to finally have a no hitter, which is the 5th-most starts before a pitcher’s first no-hitter over the last 40 years. Dennis Martinez, who had his no hitter in 1991, needed 401 starts to reach that mark, the only one with over 400. Beckett’s closest effort to a no hitter was 6.2 innings before allowing a single to Detroit’s Curtis Granderson on June 3, 2009 when he was still a Red Sox player.
Beckett had a run of retiring 23 consecutive batters, using his fastball in a combination with a slow and excellent curveball. It was the first no hitter for the Dodgers since Hideo Nomo beat Colorado at Coors Field in 1996, and the 21st in franchise history. The last no hitter in major league baseball happened on the final day of the 2013 season, as Miami’s Henderson Alvarez did it against Detroit. There hasn’t been a no-hitter in Philly since Montreal’s Bill Stoneman stopped the Phillies on April 17, 1969, at Connie Mack Stadium.
The Dodgers got going early with a double from Gonzalez that scored Dee Gordon. By the second inning the Dodgers were up 2-0 after a home run from Jeff Turner, his second of the season. A.J. Burnett did a good job up until the sixth inning when the game really started getting away from the Phillies, as Erisbel Arruebarrena helped Jeff Turner score, followed by Dee Gordon scoring after an error by Ryan Howard and the 7th inning still had two more runs to give with another RBI from Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, who grounded out to help score Yasiel Puig.
You don’t think at this point of your career that you’re going to do that. I just don’t feel that my stuff is good enough to do that. I’m probably as hard on myself as anybody. It’s very special. It takes really good defense behind you, a little luck sprinkled in and making pitches when you need to make pitches. That’s a good-hitting team you don’t take lightly.
It’s been a good visit for the Dodgers in Philadelphia, winning two of three and shutting out the Phillies in both wins. Next up for them is a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, hoping that their pitching starts following their top-10 hitting staff, as their bullpen has been inconsistent of late, resulting in the Dodgers falling behind in the race for the NL West, currently third behind the Rockies and the Giants.