Monday, May 26, 2014
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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett (61) is mobbed by his teammates after throwing a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers defeated the Phillies, 6-0. (USA TODAY Sports: Eric Hartline)
PHILADELPHIA — Even Josh Beckett didn’t think his repertoire was capable of it. A former three-time All-Star, Beckett tossed his first career no-hitter at age 34 Sunday in a 3-0 Dodgers win over the Phillies, at one point mowing down 23 batters in a row. The right-hander threw 128 pitches, struck out six and walked three.
“I just don’t feel like my stuff is good enough to do that,” Beckett said. “I’m probably as hard on myself as anybody, but I just sprinkled in some curveballs and changeups and kept them off balance.”
But Beckett, who went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in just eight games last season, has been an ace for the Dodgers in 2014.
After Sunday’s no-hit shutout, Beckett is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 1.02 WHIP this season. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in six of his nine starts and has now earned the victory in three straight games.
“Josh has been throwing the ball good all year,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Just for everything that he’s been through with us — the surgery last year, and he missed (most) of last season — he just seemed to change himself as a pitcher and is using the breaking ball more. It was nice.”
And he used that curveball effectively until the second-to-last pitch of the game, when he got one over on Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (who thought it was a ball) in a 3-1 count. He blazed a 94-mph fastball past Utley for the final out.
The no-hitter cemented a winning road trip for the Dodgers at 5-4 and a series win over the Phillies in the rubber match. L.A. returns home for a season-long 10-game homestand beginning Monday against the Reds.
“It’s special — a special moment,” Beckett said. “I’m hoping we can just use this as a springboard and start winning some ball games.”