Josh Beckett was on the mound Sunday looking to turn in another strong outing that the Los Angeles Dodgers have come to expect from their starters.
Dan Haren struggled Saturday, allowing a season-high eight runs in 5.1 innings. However, Haren managed to get eight strikeouts, which is a single-game high this year and he extended the Dodgers’ streak of starting pitchers not issuing more than two walks in a start.
Entering Sunday a Dodger starting pitcher had not walked more than two batters in 39 consecutive games, which was a modern-era record. Beckett threw five shutout innings before being removed from the game after tweaking his hip while running the bases, but also brought an end to the starting rotation’s streak.
The right-hander issued a walk in the first inning and two more in the third. Following the Dodgers’ 8-2 win, Beckett admitted he knew the streak would end with him on the mound, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
I knew if [the streak] got to me, it was going to end,” said Beckett. “I don’t have the stuff to keep that going here.”
Truth be told, Beckett started seven games that were part of the Dodgers’ impressive streak. The 33-year-old strung along three consecutive starts where he went seven innings and allowed a combined two runs.
One of the seven-inning starts was a duel against Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals. As for his tweaked hip, Beckett said it’s an issue he’s been dealing with:
We’ll see where we’re at tomorrow. It’s been a little more of a battle the last couple of weeks. The day I pitch is the best I feel all week.”
The win moved Beckett’s record to 6-5 and lowered his ERA to 2.226. The right-hander’s next scheduled start is July 12 and he’ll then have the All-Star break to use as extended rest.
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