A.J. Ellis on DL after suffering ankle injury during no-hitter celebration
LOS ANGELES — Josh Beckett was still in a celebratory mood one day after throwing a no-hitter for the Dodgers, but one of his teammates wasn’t.
Catcher A.J. Ellis, who watched from the bench as Beckett threw a 6-0 no-hitter over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, wound up on the disabled list after spraining his right ankle during the postgame celebration.
Ellis admitted he was jumping up and down on the field with his teammates and stepped on Drew Butera’s catcher’s mask.
"I guess he was jumping up and down and landed on the mask," manager Don Mattingly said. "That’s what he told me. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that happen."
It was the only thing. After throwing 128 pitches, Beckett said he experienced normal next-day soreness but nothing unusual.
"It’s pretty normal," he said. "I feel like I got hit by a truck. It’s pretty common the day after."
A year ago, Beckett, 34, had his doubts he would ever pitch again. His season was cut short by numbness in his fingers, and he didn’t throw again after May. His condition was later diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome.
Beckett underwent surgery to remove a rib in his right side to relieve pressure on his nerves, but there were no guarantees he could come back.
Even this spring, he indicated he would give it one shot and either succeed or flame out.
"I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking that it could be over," he said.
He made just eight starts last season, finished 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA and spent the entire winter rehabbing after his surgery. His impetus for coming back, he said, was watching the team’s run to the playoffs.
It helped that team executive Lon Rosen invited him to return to L.A. from Dallas to watch the playoffs.
"I got to come and be a part of the home playoff games," he said. "It really helped me push forward throughout the offseason to want to be a part of that and not just be a body in a uniform."