First and foremost, a well-deserved round of applause for Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett. The 14-year Major League veteran has a lot of feathers in his cap—three-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion, 2007 World Series MVP. Now he can add a no-hitter to his resume.
Beckett threw 128 pitches on Sunday to secure the first no-no of the 2014 season, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 at Citizens Bank Park. At one point, he had retired 23 batters in a row until Jimmy Rollins managed to draw a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Beckett got Chase Utley looking on the next at bat to finish the job, one of six strikeouts on the afternoon.
It was the first no-hitter recorded against the Phillies since Bob Forsch did it for the St. Louis Cardinals on April 16, 1978.
Obviously, you don't want to overreact when a very good pitcher has the kind of stuff Beckett had, but it's worth noting that this marks the seventh time the Phillies have been shut out in 47 games this season—the sixth time in the month of May alone. All told, they've been held to two or fewer runs in 17.
Beckett also didn't have anything to do with some of the lackadaisical defense that allowed the Dodgers to tack on three insurance runs in the seventh inning. It doesn't help that Cody Asche hit the disabled list this week, or Domonic Brown is battling back spasms, either.
Then again, I doubt any of that would have mattered.
Beckett was masterful on Sunday, and the Phillies just happened to be standing in his way. Hats off to a great performance, even if it was at the expense of the home team.
>> Box Score [ESPN]