Recovering from a career-threatening operation and reinventing himself as a pitcher was only part of
Now comes what could be the greatest obstacle: Maintenance.
Beckett made one of his least effective starts of the season Tuesday night at
However, based on Manager
"Josh is always the guy that, in between starts, we worry about," Mattingly said. "He battles every time to get ready for the next one."
There are times Beckett doesn't throw bullpen sessions between starts.
"He's got over 2,000 innings on him," Mattingly said. "Without saying he's old, he's got some mileage on him."
Beckett's issues are unrelated to the off-season surgery he underwent to address a nerve problem, Mattingly said.
"I haven't heard anything about the surgery or his arm or anything," Mattingly said. "It's been general soreness."
Including some tightness in his hip.
The Dodgers were concerned enough about Beckett's status that they rearranged the rotation of their triple-A affiliate to ensure they would have an emergency starter available for Tuesday if necessary.
Beckett wasn't nearly as sharp as he was when he pitched seven scoreless innings in a victory over the
He encountered trouble in the first inning, giving up a one-out single to
The Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but a two-run double by
Beckett was removed in the bottom of the fifth inning when Monday night hero
Beckett walked only one batter, which continued a historic run for the Dodgers.
Dodgers starting pitchers have walked two batters or less in their last 35 games, the longest such streak in the
"There's no defense for a walk," catcher
"They're really skilled guys who can throw on the edges and get ahead in the count. It's really a lot more fun to catch, too."
The Dodgers were expecting
But the two oldest members of the rotation, Beckett and
The absence of walks has been particularly important for Haren and Beckett, who don't throw as hard as they once did and are prone to serving up home runs. Haren has given up the most home runs on the Dodgers with 16; Beckett is tied for second with 12.
"The lack of walks, obviously, you're not giving up any free bases, you're not using five, six pitches to get there," Mattingly said.