Josh Beckett took the mound Sunday afternoon for the ninth time this season and he picked up just his third win. Entering Sunday, the right-hander had been impressive thus far, considering the uncertainty surrounding what was left in the tank following off-season surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.
With 128 pitches Sunday, Beckett threw his first career no-hitter, walking three and striking out six in the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 win. Sticking to a newfound plan of relying more heavily on his breaking ball, Beckett kept the Philadelphia Phillies guessing down the last at-bat of the game. After throwing Chase Utley a backdoor slider on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the ninth, Beckett froze the Phillies second baseman with a fastball for strike three.
As the right-hander worked his way through the game, anticipation of what could take place began to build into a palpable tension. However, if there was one player who appeared unfazed by what was transpiring, it was Beckett. Time Warner cameras caught the Dodger starter enjoying a relaxing conversation in the dugout with a police officer.
While Beckett may have been relaxed, he was also well aware of what he was on the verge of accomplishing and according to the Dodgers, he told manager Don Mattingly he wasn’t coming out of the game:
"Donnie and I talked about it, I wasn't coming out of the game." -Josh Beckett. #Dodgers
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 25, 2014
As for the superstition of not discussing a no-hitter that’s in progress, Beckett doesn’t subscribe to the theory, via the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett:
Beckett shattered taboo — was talking from 4th inning on about having a no-hitter going. "I'm not worried about that" superstition, he said
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 25, 2014
The no-hitter was the Dodgers first since Hideo Nomo threw one at Coors Field in 1996. The 128 pitches are a career-high for Beckett, who’s in the process of completing a remarkable turnaround after going 0-5 last season before being shutdown for the year.
Beckett’s no-hitter is the 24th in Dodgers franchise history.
Photos Of The Dodgers Celebrating The No-Hitter: