Things were setting up to be a rough day for the Dodgers. Matt Kemp was out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive game, Hanley Ramirez needs an MRI and could have an Achilles injury and A.J. Burnett had pretty good success against them in his career (3.63 ERA, 9.7 K/9).
But, Josh Becektt came to the rescue by throwing the first Dodgers’ no-hitter since Hideo Nomo in 1996 (at Colorado). Before that, Ramon Martinez no-hit the Marlins in Dodger Stadium. It was also the first in the majors this season.
Beckett was at 90 pitches through six innings. Questions were raised about how long the Don Mattingly would let him go if he were throwing a no-hitter. Well, Beckett needed 38 pitches to complete the no-hitter, with most of those coming in the ninth inning. He retired 23 batters in a row at one point. His career-high in pitches before today was 126.
There weren’t many great defensive plays in the game, as Beckett didn’t allow much hard contact all day. But with Ramirez and Kemp out, this was about the best Dodger defense that could have been on the field. Erisbel Arruebarrena (who went 2-for-3 with his first RBI) shored up the infield defense and made a couple of tough plays at shortstop look easy.
Beckett looked like his old self, working consistently in the low-90s with a plus-curveball. He used his entire bag of tricks to keep the Phillies’ offense from doing much of anything against them. He issued two walks early and one to Jimmy Rollins in the ninth inning, but none of them (obviously) came back to hurt him.
The Dodgers (27-24) return home after a 5-4 road trip to face the struggling Cincinnati Reds (22-25). Hyun-jin Ryu (4-2, 3.00) takes on Johnny Cueto (4-3, 1.86) in what should be a great pitcher’s duel. The Memorial Day game starts at 5:10 p.m. Pacific.
Congratulations on the no-no, Josh.