Josh Beckett of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw the 24th no-hitter in franchise history, and the first of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, in yesterday’s 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
A year after having season-ending nerve surgery following an 0-5 start, Beckett became the first Dodgers’ pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Hideo Nomo in 1996. Beckett threw 128 pitches, walking three and striking out six to improve to 3-1 on the season with a 2.43 earned run average.
“For him to be able to do that was nice after everything he’s been through,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters. “The surgery last year, he missed almost the whole season and he’s changing himself as a pitcher, using the breaking ball more. It was fun to watch.”
Beckett’s no-hitter was the 11th for the Dodgers since the team moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958. No franchise has more career no-hitters than the Dodgers.
“I didn’t think I had no-hit stuff,” said Beckett, who walked two of the first five batters he faced. “I thought I kept them guessing. I think it was my mixing the pitches.”
It was the first no-hitter in the majors since Sept. 29 of last season, when Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins threw one against Detroit. There were three no-hitters during the 2013 season after there were seven in 2012.
Beckett, who in July of 2013 had a rib removed to relieve pressure on his nerves due to thoracic outlet syndrome, received the pitching rubber from the mound at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park as a memento after the game. The 34-year-old right-hander had one career one-hitter and the longest he’d previously gone without allowing a hit in a game was 6 2/3 innings in 2009 while with the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m really touched by that,” Beckett said. “The Phillies showed what a class organization they are by getting that to me. I thought maybe they would send it to L.A., but to get it that quickly really meant something. I have a pretty big ranch, I’ll figure out some place to put it.”