By Jon Weisman
I know a lot of people might be waiting for the other shoe to drop on Brett Anderson, but so far all footwear is hovering tranquilly in mid-air.
Continuing to bounce back from multiple injury-plagued seasons, the 27-year-old Anderson threw seven scoreless innings on 77 pitches before allowing two hard-luck runs in the eighth inning of a 2:22 2-1 Dodger loss tonight to St. Louis.
“Obviously, Brett was really good tonight,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s unfortunate he ends up with an L in a game like this. You can’t make any mistakes.”
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Since the start of May, Anderson has thrown 43 1/3 innings and allowed 11 earned runs (2.28 ERA) on 53 baserunners while striking out 33. His ERA for the 2015 season is down to 3.29, and only rain has ended any of his past seven starts before the seventh inning.
After sailing through those first seven innings tonight, Anderson began the eighth off-kilter with a four-pitch walk to Yadier Molina, but he still pitched well enough to avoid the loss. An infield single up the middle by Jason Heyward put runners on first and second, and pinch-hitter Tony Cruz’s sacrifice moved them both into scoring position.
Another infield single — an 80-footer that Adrian Gonzalez fielded but made no throw on — tied the game, and a Matt Carpenter sacrifice fly gave the lead to the Cardinals, who had been trailing since Joc Pederson’s bases-loaded walk in the second inning.
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“Through seven, it was about as well as I’ve thrown in a couple years, but you can’t walk the leadoff guy to start the eighth,” Anderson said.
Of the 23 outs Anderson recorded in the game, 17 came on strikeouts or grounders, appropriate for the pitcher leading the Major Leagues in ground-ball rate. Anderson has also allowed only two home runs in his past 53 innings.
Anderson’s last complete game — for that matter, his last outing of at least eight innings — came in 2011. But the next one seems ever closer, however frustrating tonight’s outcome was.
“Baseball is an infuriating game,” Anderson said, “but it’s also the best game in the world.”
Al Kenderes (@Coach__K)
Face it….St Louis and San Francisco just have the Dodger’s number. Somehow that has to change if they ever want to make it to World Series again.
It was as close to a masterpiece as Anderson could’ve pitched and we came very close to defeating the Cardinals. Something you can’t count on these days.
Al Kenderes (@Coach__K)
Dodger talent is equal to St Louis and San Francisco, if not better. Difference is coaching. Mattingly’s lineups are puzzling. Situational hitting is non-existent.