With apologies to Samuel Beckett, and congratulations to Josh!
Dodger right-hander Josh Beckett has authored the first no-hit, no-run game of his career, and of this season, as the Dodgers took the rubber match of a weekend set in Philadelphia. Beckett walked three and struck out six, including Chase Utley for the game’s final out.
Backett threw 128 pitches, 80 of them for strikes. After going to a 3-0 count on the leadoff hitters in both the first and second innings, Beckett hit his stride and retired 23 Phillies in a row, throwing a first pitch strike to all but two of them. The Phillies helped out by putting 5 first pitches in play, four of them in the last 3 innings.
More after the jump.
This was Beckett’s 12th career complete game and 6th shutout. The 128 pitches thrown are his career high and just the 3rd time over the past 5 seasons that Beckett has reached the 120 mark. It’s the 12th time Beckett has thrown 80 strikes in a game but, again, only the 3rd time in the past 5 seasons.
Beckett’s 90 game score is his career high and just the 5th time he’s exceeded 80. It’s the 7th time this season for a 90 game score, with shutouts in 3 of the earlier games and no runs allowed in 8+ IP in the other 3 games. Beckett’s 3 BB and 6 SO are both the most modest marks of the 7 games.
Beckett’s gem is the 24th no-hit game thrown in Dodger franchise history, going back to 1884 when Sam Kimber tossed 10 no-hit innings in a 0-0 tie against the Toledo Blue Stockings. It’s been 18 seasons since Hideo Nomo‘s no-hit game in 1996, the longest span between Dodger no-hitters, surpassing the 17 years between Nap Rucker (1908) and Dazzy Vance (1925).
Beckett becomes the 16th pitcher since 1914 to throw a no-hitter at age 34 or older, and the 14th to throw a first no-hitter at that age. Beckett becomes the third Dodger aged 34 or older with a no-hit game, following Dazzy Vance (1925) and Sal Maglie (1956), both of whom also defeated the Phillies. This marks the 5th time the Dodgers have no-hit the Phillies, the most of any Dodger opponent save for the 6 no-hitters thrown against the Giants.
After an injury-plagued 2013 season, Beckett appears to be again approaching the All-Star form he showed in Boston. This is Beckett’s 6th start of the season allowing 2 ER or less, with only 4 ER allowed in each of his other 3 outings for a 2.89 ERA going into today. Beckett’s SO rate remains near his career best and his outstanding 7.1 H/9 so far this year is well ahead of his career average. But, walk rate and the long ball are both higher than what Beckett and the Dodgers would like to see, so it isn’t as if anyone was really seeing this game coming. Perhaps the most similar no-hitter from the past would be Mel Parnell‘s gem in 1956, thrown at almost the same age (Parnell was 3 weeks older) and coming after Parnell had been limited to 138 innings of 83 ERA+ over the two preceding seasons.
Well done, Josh!