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im is the Big 12 player of the year and Smart is also a po

  • July 21, 2017 11:24 am IST

    PHILADELPHIA -- Josh Beckett started talking about throwing a no-hitter in the fourth inning, ignoring traditional superstitions and making his catcher nervous in the process. Teez Tabor Womens Jersey . The big, folksy Texan had stuff that was too dominant to worry about a jinx. Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of his stellar career and the first in the majors this season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 on Sunday. A year ago, Beckett was nearly derailed by a nerve condition that left him unable to feel his fingertips. On this day, he was downright nasty. "I was joking about it because I was waiting for them to get a hit," Beckett said. "You dont think at this point of your career that youre going to do that. I just dont feel that my stuff is good enough to do that. Im probably as hard on myself as anybody." Beckett stuck out six, walked three and didnt come close to allowing a hit against a lineup that included two former NL MVPs and four former All-Stars. Beckett has credentials, too: A three-time All-Star, he also was a World Series MVP. The 34-year-old right-hander threw 128 pitches. He fanned five-time All-Star Chase Utley on a called strike three to end the game. "Its very special. It takes really good defence behind you, a little luck sprinkled in and making pitches when you need to make pitches," Beckett said. "Thats a good-hitting team you dont take lightly." Beckett mixed a sharp fastball with a slow, deceptive curve that kept hitters off-balance while retiring 23 straight batters at one stretch. He pitched the Dodgers first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo beat Colorado at Coors Field in 1996, and the 21st in franchise history. Sandy Koufax threw four. "I knew he had something special going early," catcher Drew Butera said. "I was a nervous wreck from the fourth inning on when he said he had never taken one this far. Hes a guy who is going to keep it loose and he didnt want anybody to be thinking about it." Beckett pitched the first no-hitter in the majors since Miamis Henderson Alvarez did it against Detroit on the final day of the 2013 season. Beckett also became the first visiting pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Philadelphia since Montreals Bill Stoneman stopped the Phillies on April 17, 1969, at Connie Mack Stadium. All of the defensive plays behind Beckett were routine. Domonic Brown had the hardest out, a liner that left fielder Carl Crawford ran down near the warning track in the fifth. Beckett sat at the end of the bench, next to a security guard, as the Dodgers batted in the ninth inning, before taking the mound in his bid for history. "It was awesome. You think about it pretty much from the fourth on. Im not one of those guys that carried a lot of no-hitters deep into games," he said. Becketts longest previous bid was 6 2-3 innings before allowing a single to Detroits Curtis Granderson on June 3, 2009. Beckett retired pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. on a popup to shortstop to start the ninth. Speedy Ben Revere followed with a grounder that first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fielded, and he flipped to Beckett covering the bag for the second out. "It was the most excited Ive ever been playing defence," Gonzalez said. Jimmy Rollins was up next, and Beckett walked him on a full-count pitch. That brought up Utley, and when the count when to 3-2, Butera went to the mound to talk to Beckett. Beckett then threw a 94 mph fastball that Utley looked at, and plate umpire Brian Knight called strike three to end it. "I knew he wasnt expecting me to throw a fastball down the middle," Beckett said. A pitch before striking out, Utley took a few steps toward first base when he thought a 3-1 delivery was ball four. Instead, it was strike two. Utley left the clubhouse before reporters arrived. "He had real good stuff right down to the final batter," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Our best hitter not swinging at the last two strikes is an indicator right there." Beckett walked off the mound, pumped his fist and was mobbed by teammates. He got a standing ovation from the crowd of 36,141 at Citizens Bank Park on his way to the dugout. "That was a lot of fun," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Hes been throwing well all year and his breaking ball and change keep getting better." Last July, Beckett had a rib removed in thoracic outlet syndrome surgery to fix a condition that was affecting his right arm. He went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight games in 2013. Beckett (3-1) started this season on the disabled list with a thumb injury, raising more doubts about how effective he would be for a team with post-season expectations. "I just wanted to help the team," he said. "You always want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem." Beckett was the MVP of the 2003 World Series for the Marlins, capping off their championship run by pitching a five-hit shutout in the clinching Game 6 at Yankee Stadium. Roy Halladay had the only other no-hitter at cozy Citizens Bank Park, doing it for the Phillies in a 4-0 playoff win over Cincinnati on Oct. 6, 2010. In 1988, Pascual Perez of the Expos held the host Phillies hitless for five innings at Veterans Stadium before the game was stopped because of rain. A Major League Baseball committee later ruled that no-hitters of less than nine innings didnt officially count. Beckett walked Utley in the first and Marlon Byrd in the second before retiring 23 straight batters. Beckett threw a one-hitter for the Red Sox at Tampa Bay on June 15, 2011. He allowed an infield single to current Phillies utilityman Reid Brignac in the third inning of a 3-0 win. The Phillies were shut out for the fourth time in their last seven home games and seventh time this season. Phillies righty A.J. Burnett (3-4) allowed four earned runs and 11 hits in seven innings in a matchup against his former Marlins teammate. Burnett is 1-3 with a 6.26 in his last four starts. Gonzalezs RBI double to right-centre with two outs in the first gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Justin Turner led off the second with a solo homer to straightaway centre that just cleared the wall to make it 2-0. Turner singled and scored on Erisbel Arruebarrenas two-out single in the sixth, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Sandberg allowed Burnett to lead off the bottom of the sixth instead of pinch-hitting for him with a 3-0 deficit. Burnett grounded out and then allowed three runs in the seventh. Beckett followed Burnett as one of the prized young arms in Florida a decade ago. It was the fifth time theyve faced each other and first matchup since Aug. 7, 2009, when Beckett was in Boston and Burnett pitched for the Yankees. New York won that game 2-0 in the 15th inning. NOTES: Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez remained out of the lineup because of a sore calf. ... The Phillies placed 3B Cody Asche on the DL with a left hamstring strain. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp, the 2011 NL MVP runner-up, wasnt in the starting lineup for the third straight game. Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp will start playing some LF. The Dodgers finished a nine-game road trip with a 5-4 record. Theyre 18-11 on the road, 9-13 at home. ... The Dodgers return home to start a three-game series vs. Cincinnati on Monday. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-3) goes for LA against RHP Johnny Cueto (4-3). ... For the Phillies, RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-5) faces Colorados Jhoulys Chacin (0-3) in the opener of a three-game set Monday. Brad Kaaya Youth Jersey .Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been neck and neck all season, with 17 points separating the rivals and double points on offer for the race.Tensions between them have spilled over during the campaign and the pairs fragile relationship was evident during Thursdays pre-race news conference, when Rosberg goaded Hamilton by advising him to race cleanly. Jarrad Davis Womens Jersey . Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Raptors have traded forward Steve Novak along with a second-round pick to the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Diante Garrett - who will then be waived. KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas coach Bill Self was chatting this week with someone who brought up the possibility that some unfortunate team with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament might have to play its second game against Oklahoma State, which was once considered a Final Four contender. "I said, Just think if that happens in your conference tournament," Self responded. After winning their 10th straight regular-season title, the Jayhawks earned the top seed when the Big 12 tournament begins Wednesday night at the Sprint Center. But the reward is a first-round bye and a potential matchup with the eighth-seeded Cowboys in Thursdays quarterfinals; the two teams split their two meetings this year. Oklahoma State plays No. 9 seed Texas Tech in the first game Wednesday night. Seventh-seeded Baylor takes on No. 10 seed TCU in the nightcap of a double-header. "I think weve always had very competitive Big 12 tournaments," Self said, "but I dont know if I can ever remember where if theres a final between whatever seeds there are, it would be absolutely not a major surprise to anybody. Its going to be a pretty special weekend." The Big 12 has been the runaway leader in conference RPI all season, and some believe that it could land seven or eight teams in the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday. Just consider the games that will be played Thursday: Along with Kansas getting Oklahoma State or Texas Tech, second-seeded Oklahoma will play the Baylor-TCU winner, No. 3 seed Texas will play No. 6 seed West Virginia, and No. 4 seed Iowa State will play No. 5 seed Kansas State. "This league," Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said, "is by far the toughest in the country." Thats why the Jayhawks still believe they can earn a No. 1 seed to the NCAA tournament, despite their 23-8 record. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State (20-11) is teetering around the bubble, and a win over Texas Tech might be enough to push the Cowboys firmly into the dance. Knocking off the Jayhawks would certainly do the trick. "Were just trying to worry about the next game," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said, "and worrying about all that other stuff doesnt really do you any good." In thaat case, here are five things that fans SHOULD worry about: BUBBLE WATCH: Oklahoma State isnt the only team on the NCAA tournament bubble. Teez Tabor Jersey. Baylor (21-10) would feel much better with a win or two, while West Virginia (17-14) hopes the momentum it picked up by knocking off Kansas last weekend will propel it to enough wins in Kansas City to make a case on Selection Sunday. "I think if we won two wed be in great shape," said Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins, "but I think if we can win that first one that we would be pretty good." CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE: Kansas is the only current member to have won the Big 12 tournament since 2005 -- twice since then, Missouri won the title. In fact, Oklahoma and Iowa Stare are the only current schools besides the Jayhawks and Cowboys to have won. "No matter what people say, no matter what other teams do," Oklahoma States Marcus Smart said, "it goes through Kansas." STAR WATCH: There will be stars-a-plenty at the Big 12 tournament. Andrew Wiggins of Kansas is a potential No. 1 draft pick, Iowa States Melvin Ejim is the Big 12 player of the year and Smart is also a potential lottery pick. But one player who wont be on the floor is Jayhawks centre Joel Embiid, whos been ruled out for the Big 12 tournament and unlikely for the first week of the NCAA tournament because of a stress fracture in his back. HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE: Local schools Kansas and Kansas State always pack the Sprint Center, but Iowa State also tends to draw well -- its campus is a reasonable drive from Kansas City. That means itll be tough to secure a ticket to Thursdays first session, when the Cyclones play the Wildcats and Kansas is also in action in a tantalizing double-header. LONGSHOTS: Even longshots have coaches concerned this year. Texas Tech is the No. 9 seed but has wins over Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas on its resume. And nobody thought TCU would go winless in the league, so the No. 10 seed Horned Frogs could be primed for a first-round upset of the Bears. "Were going to do our best to keep within striking distance, like we have all year long, and give ourselves a chance down the stretch," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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