Burnett tips cap to longtime pal Beckett
Phillies right-hander appreciates magnitude of former teammate's no-hitter
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett and Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett are longtime friends, having won a World Series championship together with the Florida Marlins in 2003.
But that does not mean Burnett wanted this to happen on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Beckett threw a no-hitter against the Phillies in a 6-0 victory. It dropped the Phillies, who have been shut out five times in their last 10 games at home, to 21-26.
"It was pretty cool to throw a no-hitter, but you never want to see it done against your team," Burnett said. "He was [getting] strike one from the get-go. Overall, I think the way he attacked our hitters a little more aggressively and got ahead more was the key."
Burnett joined the Marlins with a Feb. 6, 1998, trade from the Mets that sent Burnett, Rob Stratton and Jesus Sanchez to the Marlins for Al Leiter and Ralph Milliard. Beckett joined the Marlins as the second overall pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
The pair remained with the Marlins through 2005.
"Today is his day," said Burnett, who tossed a no-hitter of his own against the Padres on May 12, 2001. "You tip your hat to the man. He was able to make pitches throughout the whole ballgame. Offspeed, behind in the count -- what was good for him today was he was able to throw his changeup and his hook for strikes in fastball counts. You know who you're going up against. You know it's going to be a battle from the get-go. You just want to do your best to match him pitch for pitch."
Burnett allowed 11 hits, six runs (four earned) and one walk while striking out three in seven innings. He was not happy with his performance, which might be one reason he did not want to answer endless questions about his friend having just no-hit his team.
"Is this a Josh interview or is this an A.J. Burnett interview?" Burnett said. "Just wondering."
Burnett wasn't alone with his frustrations. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard left the Phillies' clubhouse quickly. Jimmy Rollins offered only two sentences on Beckett's performance, saying, "He was good. There's no more to be said."
"It's frustrating, but you have to tip your hat to Beckett," Ben Revere said. "He pitched a heck of a game. He was hitting his spots, painting the corners. He mixed in his curveball and changeup well. It was one of those days. You tip your hat to him."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.