PHILADELPHIA — Josh Beckett started talking about his no-hitter in the fourth inning, ignoring superstitions and making his catcher nervous.
Jinxes? No such thing, as the Texan demonstrated.
Beckett pitched his first career no-hitter and the first in the majors this season, leading the Dodgers over the 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," he said. "You don't think at this point of your career that you're going to do that. I just don't feel that my stuff is good enough to do that."
Beckett, 34, didn't 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 right-hander threw 128 pitches. He fanned five-time All-Star Chase Utley on a called strike three to end it.
"It's very special. It takes really good defense behind you, a little luck sprinkled in and making pitches when you need to make pitches," Beckett said. "That's a good-hitting team you don't take lightly."
Beckett mixed a sharp fastball with a slow, deceptive curve that kept hitters off balance and retired 23 straight at one stretch. He pitched the Dodgers' first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo beat the Rockes at Coors Field in 1996, and the 21st in franchise history.
"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. He's a guy who is going to keep it loose, and he didn't want anybody to be thinking about it."