Josh Beckett made history on Sunday, throwing the first no-hitter of his 14-year career as the Dodgers beat the Phillies 6-0 at Citizens Bank Park. Beckett’s no-hitter was the first at Citizens Bank Park since Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS, and the first ever in the regular season.
It’s also the first no-hitter by an opponent in Philadelphia since Bill Stoneman of the Expos shut down the Phillies in April of 1969. This is the first time the Phillies have been no-hit since Bob Forsch of the Cardinals didn’t allow a hit against them in April of 1978. For the Dodgers, it’s the 21st no-hitter in team history, and the first since Hideo Nomo no-hit the Rockies at Coors Field in September of 1996.
In the game, Beckett started off slowly before turning up his mojo as the game went on. He walked a hitter in each of the first and second innings, and had thrown 58 pitches through the first three innings of the game. After that, it was smooth sailing. Between his walk of Marlon Byrd to lead off the second inning and his walk to Jimmy Rollins in the ninth, Beckett set down 23 straight Phillies en route to history.
The no-hitter caps a long, strange odyssey for Beckett over the last three seasons. He fell out of favor with the Red Sox in 2012, and was essentially a forced addition to the team’s megatrade with the Dodgers because of his large contract. In 2013, Beckett made just eight starts, and his season was finished in May following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery on his right shoulder. This year, Beckett started on the DL with a sprained thumb before returning to make eight starts and looking like the Beckett of old. He came into today’s game with a 2.89 ERA in 46 2/3 innings, along with 46 strikeouts and 17 walks. His four-year extension expires after the season, and he’ll be a free agent this winter.
Beckett’s career, which seemed so promising early on, now has one more achievement tacked on to it. Beckett is a two-time World Champion, with the Marlins in 2003 and Red Sox in 2007. He was also the World Series MVP of that 2003 team, and the ALCS MVP in 2007. While he may only be a three-time All-Star that has received Cy Young votes in two seasons, Beckett’s a damn good pitcher when he’s healthy and on his game, and we saw the Beckett of old on Sunday in Philadelphia.