Flu-ridden Beckett throws in simulated game instead

Flu-ridden Beckett throws in simulated game instead

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Josh Beckett didn't start for the Dodgers Monday, but he did pitch.

Sapped from several days of the flu, Beckett was wary about starting their team's game against Arizona, but he didn't want to veer off-schedule in his build-up toward Opening Day.

So the compromise was for Beckett to pitch a simulated game with a trio of Minor League batters and teammate Jerry Hairston.

Beckett threw 76 pitches and went through the up-and-down of six innings, pitching and resting in between.

"Everything went good," manager Don Mattingly reported. "He got better as the game went on. He was happy about being able to get it in. He was worried that if he did it in a [Cactus League] game and he had a long inning, he wouldn't get his pitch count up and the up-and-downs. He seemed to be happy with it."

With Beckett scratched, Mattingly used all relievers against the D-backs, beginning with former starter Josh Wall, who allowed one run in two innings. Peter Moylan allowed two runs in one inning, Paco Rodriguez pitched two innings and allowed a long home run to Paul Goldschmidt, and Shawn Tolleson was the cleanest, with two strikeouts in a perfect inning.

Tolleson said he had no residual effects from his last outing Friday, when he took a line drive off his pitching elbow.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.