Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beckett tosses a no-hitter; blanks Phillies in series finale

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
May 25 2014, 4:15pm EDT. 
@Philabaseball

PHILADELPHIA - Josh Beckett stood in front of his locker in the visitors' clubhouse following Sunday's contest at Citizens Bank Park and admitted he was short on words.

"Everyone keeps asking me and I don't know what else to say, other than I was excited in the ninth," the right-hander said.

Josh Beckett celebrates no-hitter.  ~Pham SinghBeckett used a career-high 128 pitches to secure his first career no-hitter on Sunday as he and the Dodgers coasted to a 6-0 win over the Phillies.

"I was joking around about it, but nobody else was after the fourth inning," he said. "I told Don [Mattingly] this is three innings further than I've had one before."

The loss marked the first time the Phillies were no-hit in a nine inning game since Bob Forsch accomplished the feat with the Cardinals on April 16, 1987 at Busch Stadium.

"He used his curve like I've never seen him before and hit his spots," said Marlon Byrd. "There's not much more to say."

Chase Utley, normally one of the last players to leave the Phillies clubhouse, was among one of the first out on Sunday after being called out on strikes to end the contest.

"[Beckett] was good," a visibly frustrated Jimmy Rollins mumbled before leaving the clubhouse. "There's nothing more to say."

Including Sunday, five of the Phillies last ten losses at home have been shutouts and the club entered the day with a .235 team batting average at Citizens Bank Park - a troubling sign for a team now five games below .500 in late May.

"We got to figure that out," Byrd said. "Against Kershaw [Friday night] we had some chances and made some good plays, but he made good pitches and Beckett today, he had no-hit stuff and showed it. The other shutouts and the other struggles, I have no clue. You keep coming here everyday and trying to figure it out only it doesn't happen. You try and come in the next day to figure it out again and it doesn't happen. We aren't getting there - not here, not at home."

The Phillies begin a stretch on Monday with 11 of their next 14 contests coming against teams with losing records - this includes series against divisional opponents New York and Washington.

"We've had our ups and downs with scoring runs at home, we score in bunches then we hit a cold streak," said manager Ryne Sandberg. "It's something we need to improve on and it's basically the entire lineup to take care of that."

Beckett's no-hitter is just the second in Citizens Bank Park history - the other being Roy Halladay's in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series against Cincinnati. 

"They hit three or four balls pretty hard today but we just had guys in the right place," Beckett said. "It takes a little luck to do this."

Phillies starter A.J. Burnett surrendered six runs, four earned, over seven innings. He allowed 11 hits and struck out three.

Adrian Gonzalez finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Yasiel Puig chipped in with a double and a run scored. Jason Turner contributed a solo home run in the second.  

As for Beckett, he needed 18 pitches to get through the final frame before notching the no-hit victory.

"I was thinking about Chase Utley coming up -- and how good of a baseball player he's been the last 15 years," Beckett said. "I think I just kind of composed myself and figured out what I wanted to do with Chase."

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news source in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia region.

0 comments: