On this day six years ago, the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett tossed the first opposing no-hitter against the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park history.
From 1980 to on this day six years ago, May 25, 2014, the Philadelphia Phillies had two more World Series championships (2) than the number of times they were no-hit (0).
That all changed in a Sunday matinee home game opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers, when opposing starting pitcher Josh Beckett went the distance without allowing a hit on 128 pitches.
Leading up to the game, the Dodgers were just two games over .500 (26-24), whereas the last-place, Ryne Sandberg-led Phillies were four games under (21-25).
As it turns out, Beckett’s start would be his fifth-to-last road outing, as well as his final of six career complete game shutouts.
He was far from the two-time World Series championship and three-time All-Star player, having gone a combined 7-19 with a 4.76 ERA across 36 starts with the Boston Red Sox and Dodgers in the previous two seasons. Entering his May 2014 outing against the Phillies, however, Beckett appeared to have figured some things out, going a much-better 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA across eight starts.
The game lasted a quick two hours and 37 minutes. The Dodgers got on the board early opposite Phillies starter A.J. Burnett; Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI double in the first, followed by Justin Turner hitting a solo, leadoff home run in the second. Four innings later, Erisbel Arruebarrena put the Dodgers on top 3-0 with an RBI single, before the Dodgers added three more insurance runs in the seventh.
Phillies batters failed to put up a fight. Of the 30 Beckett faced, three walked (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Marlon Byrd) and six struck out. Utley’s strikeout with two outs in the bottom of the ninth sealed the first-ever opposing no-hitter in Citizens Bank Park history, and the team’s first such game since the St. Louis Cardinals’ Bob Forsch kept them out of the hit column on Sunday, April 16, 1978, at Busch Stadium.
It was also the Dodgers’ 21st no-hitter in franchise history, and their 11th since the team relocated to Los Angeles.
And, on the Dodgers’ flight back, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, Beckett yelled, “Hey Kershaw, I’m giving out no-hitter lessons back here if you want.” Just three weeks later, Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter of his own.
Beckett made just 11 more starts that season (3-5, 3.30 ERA), with his last career appearance coming on August 3.
That September, the Phillies responded by throwing the fourth no-hitter of the season, following Beckett’s, Kershaw’s, and the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum‘s: a combined no-hitter.