For the second straight series, the Phillies had a chance to take two of three from their opponent with a victory. They were shut out in Friday night's contest, but were able to walk away with a win yesterday. Now with a record of 21-25, the team is starting to slip a bit in the National League East standings, now a full 5.0 games back of the Atlanta Braves. They's have to move to three games under .500 with the help of A.J. Burnett, who's has been nothing but shaky his last three outings. His walk rate has jumped, and has labored in each appearance. They'd be facing off against Josh Beckett, the former Red Sox star trying to rebuild his career in Los Angeles.
The Game: Burnett continued his streak of struggling early in the game. Dee Gordon singled to leadoff the inning, and to no one's surprise, stole second base on the first pitch to Carl Crawford. He'd escape the first inning with just the one run allowed, but got right back to it in the second. Third baseman Justin Turner collected his second home run of the season as the first batter of that inning, and the Dodgers were quickly off to a 2-0 lead.
Luckily for the home team, Burnett settled in, and worked into the sixth inning with just those two runs allowed. He held the Dodgers at bay, giving up base runners here and there. But, as he got into the later parts of the ballgame, Burnett began to give it up again. It started when Turner singled in the sixth, and he stayed and base with two away. The Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena singled into right field and scored the team's third run off of Burnett. The Phillies righty would remain in the game into the seventh inning, and immediately allowed a walk to Dee Gordon. Obviously, Gordon swiped second, and was able to score when a Carl Crawford bouncing ball to first ate up Ryan Howard and trickled into right field. A 3-0 game for Los Angeles.
The scoring didn't stop there, unfortunately. Yasiel Puig then lined a ball to Domonic Brown in left. Puig moved to second on the throw, but was awarded a double. A single from Adrian Gonzalez brought home Crawford, and the lead began to blow open for the Dodgers. Finally, Andre Ethier would bring in the Dodgers' sixth run, though he wouldn't get an RBI. He grounded into a double play that gave Puig enough time to score, and Los Angeles had officially put a beating on the Phillies.
The big story today, though, was Josh Beckett. Through three innings, Beckett had thrown over 50 pitches, and looked as though he'd struggle throughout the game. However, the veteran right-hander picked things up heavily after that start, retiring 21 straight batters. Going into the ninth, Beckett had thrown 110 pitches, and needed to set down Tony Gwynn Jr., Ben Revere, and Jimmy Rollins to record history. Gwynn and Revere were each set down quickly, but Rollins worked the walk to extend the game. Chase Utley stood in next, and took a 3-1 curveball that barely nabbed the outer edge of the strikezone to make the count full. That 3-2 pitch was a surprise fastball that caught Utley off guard, grazed the bottom of the strikezone, and secured the no-hitter for Josh Beckett, the first of his career.
The last time a no-hitter was thrown against the Phillies in Philadelphia came from Pascual Perez of the Montreal Expos, though his came in a 5.0 inning game. The last complete game no-hitter thrown in Philadelphia was by Bill Stoneman, also of the Montreal Expos, in April of 1969 in Connie Mack Stadium.
Impact: Aside from the fact that Josh Beckett was on his game, and deserves obvious credit for his performance, the Phillies team as a whole was dreadful. The fielding was disappointing, but more so, the energy was all-around lazy. Many plate approaches were awful, and the team just did not show up to play today. They'll have just over 24 hours to recover from the disaster, as they'll begin a series with the Rockies tomorrow.
Up Next: Tomorrow's Memorial Day contest will begin at 5:05 eastern, as Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies come in to face Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies.
Andrew Gillen, Philliedelphia Managing Editor/Gameday Coordinator