By Jon Weisman
In this Back to the Future season, Brett Anderson has passed 2011 by. Next stop: 2010.
With his seven innings in Friday’s 7-1 Dodger victory, the 27-year-old left-hander has reached 89 in 2015, surpassing his 83 1/3 in 2011 for his biggest output in the past five seasons.
Anderson is now 23 1/3 innings from matching the second most durable season of his career, 112 1/3 innings in 2010.
Moreover, Anderson is rolling. Since May 1, he has averaged 6 1/3 innings per start with a 2.47 ERA, and has allowed more than two runs twice in his past 11 starts.
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Anderson not only set a Dodger record, according to research by Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., by picking off two runners in the same inning, he also tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, admittedly against a Marlins team that went completely whifftastic Friday. Miami’s final 10 outs of the game came on strikeouts, interrupted only by an eighth-inning single by J.T. Realmulto, the only one of the Marlins’ 11 batters not to fan. According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via the Dodgers public relations department, it marked the first time in Los Angeles Dodger history that the club had finished a game by recording the final 10 outs via strikeout.
Relievers Adam Liberatore and Pedro Baez (the latter in his first appearances since May 13) each struck out the side in their innings, giving Los Angeles pitchers 16 for the game.
Baez’s last six outs have been strikeouts, and he now has 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings and an 8.3 strikeout-walk ratio.
National League homer leader Giancarlo Stanton struck out three times, a prelude to the unfortunate report that he has a hamate fracture in his left hand that will sideline him for at least a month.
With the 16 strikeouts, two pickoffs and eight groundouts induced by Anderson, Dodger outfielders had an exceptionally quiet night. Alex Guerrero didn’t field a ball in play — neither a hit nor an out — and Scott Van Slyke didn’t touch a ball either until Realmulto’s single, which itself was deflected by Jimmy Rollins.
Four Dodgers recorded putouts: catcher A.J. Ellis (16), first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (eight), shortstop Rollins (two, both on the pickoffs) and a single catch by Joc Pederson in center field.
Van Slyke and Guerrero weren’t non-factors, though. Van Slyke hit a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Dodgers a lead after falling behind, 1-0, in the first inning on the Dee Gordon Manufacturer’s Special (infield single, stolen base, two groundouts). Guerrero added two hits, a run and an RBI.
Howie Kendrick had four of the 11 singles by the Dodgers, who put 18 men on base overall and went 5 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Yasiel Puig’s right palm even felt well enough for him to pinch-hit and play the final two innings in right field.
In a 1 p.m. Pacific start today, Clayton Kershaw hopes to put his home-run woes behind him and extend the Dodgers’ road winning streak to four games. Kershaw, who has a 1.94 ERA in his past six starts dating to May 26, has 48 strikeouts this month. With 14 today, he would top his June 2014 performance for the most strikeouts by a Dodger in a calendar month since Sandy Koufax.