clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 Dodgers review: Josh Beckett

Lisa Blumenfeld

Josh Beckett saw his final MLB season cut short by injuries, but when he was on the mound he enjoyed success, and one final moment in the sun. Here is a look back at his 2014 season.

What went right

Beckett was a question mark heading into the season but was a stabilizing force in the Dodgers starting rotation in the early part of the season, much needed with injuries to both Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu.

It was an amazing return for Beckett, who saw his 2013 campaign end after just eight starts. He had surgery to remove a rib to relieve nerve pressure caused by Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, but managed to not only answer the bell in 2014 but thrived for three months.

Beckett pitched a no-hitter on May 25 in Philadelphia — more on that below — but that was not his only highlight. In a 16-start stretch from April 15 to July 6, Beckett was 6-5 with a 1.99 ERA and averaged over six innings per start.

In nine of Beckett's 20 starts he allowed no more than one run, including seven scoreless starts.

Beckett improved his strikeout rate to 22.5 percent, an increase over the previous two years and just above his career 22.5-percent mark.

He made great strides with his curve ball, turning it from a below-average pitch in 2013 (2.2 runs below average, per PITCHf/x) to a plus pitch in 2014, 2.8 runs above average.

Beckett's 121 ERA+ is the third-highest by a Dodgers pitcher in his final season, making at least 20 starts, behind only Sandy Koufax (190 ERA+ in 1966) and Ned Garvin (162 ERA+ in 1904).

What went wrong

This has been a recurring theme this week, but Beckett had trouble staying on the field. He had three trips to the disabled list, including twice for a hip impingement that progressed into a torn labrum that ended his season in July and required surgery. He made just 20 starts during the season.

Beckett also had the reputation for being Steve Trachsel-slow on the mound, and well deserved. Beckett's starts averaged three hours, 27 minutes, compared to three hours, 14 minutes for the Dodgers as a team. Though three of Beckett's first four starts ended up games in extra innings; remove those and the average lowers to three hours, 19 minutes.

2014 particulars

Age: 34

Salary: $15.75 million

Game of the year

On May 25 against the Phillies, the final game of a nine-game road trip, Beckett pitched his first and only no-hitter, his first nine-inning complete game since 2011. After Beckett walked Marlon Byrd to open the second inning, he retired 23 straight batters before a two-out walk in the ninth inning by Jimmy Rollins.

The game was not in doubt, with a 6-0 lead by the Dodgers, and there was no way Beckett was coming out of the game. He stayed in to face Chase Utley, and struck him out looking to end the masterpiece.

Beckett threw 128 pitches in the game, the most of any of his 332 career starts.

Roster status

Beckett announced his retirement after the season, hanging up his spikes after 14 years, 138 wins, 1,901 strikeouts, three All-Star appearances and a pair of World Series titles.