Josh Beckett and the Los Angeles Dodgers have seen better days, not to mention the Philadelphia Phillies. But on May 25, Beckett and the Dodgers had one of the best days possible, as the Phillies sent 30 men to the plate, had three of them walk and saw the other 27 get retired. The no-hitter filled one of the few missing pieces of Beckett's career, with the Dodgers getting a 6-0 win in the meantime.
Beckett got his first no-hitter 11 seasons after his World Series heroics for the Florida Marlins, and three seasons after his role in the dysfunctional Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Now he is trying to rebuild his career with the Dodgers, with his work against the Phillies serving as his biggest step forward.
Beckett started his no-hitter with two early walks, yet he retired the next 23 Phillies in order until walking Jimmy Rollins with two outs in the ninth. Chase Utley then came out and pushed the count to 3-1, then was caught looking on Beckett's final two calls, although they were both borderline strikes.
Nevertheless, getting caught looking and defenseless was the perfect way to end the no-hitter for the Phillies. They had already been shut out by Clayton Kershaw on May 23, and had been prone to offensive slumps that made a no-hitter almost inevitable. Yet this is the first time Philadelphia has been no-hit since 1978, as well as the first time it was no-hit at home since 1969.
Before this game, Beckett was merely the fourth option in a loaded Los Angeles rotation that had Kershaw, 7-1 Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu. But with his record now 3-1 with an ERA of 2.43, the Beckett of old may be showing signs of life again. He didn't do this when he was a World Series winner for the Marlins and Red Sox, however.
The Dodgers can still get Beckett back to another World Series, although their record is merely 26-21 so far. Los Angeles had been stopped in the NLCS by Philadelphia in 2008 and 2009 -- but the Phillies' World Series days were already far away before this no-hitter added to their woes.