"He went seven strong, and had finished stronger than he started," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "He had plenty left in the tank, but the matchups dictated that he didn't stay in the game."
Anderson allowed three runs over his seven innings, including a pair of home runs, but was only at 82 pitches when he was pinch hit for and removed from the game, with the Dodgers trailing by a run.
The low pitch count was helped by the Brewers putting seven first pitches into play, including six in the third and fourth innings combined.
"They were extremely aggressive. They were swinging," Ellis said. "I don't know if it was their game plan to attack him early or if it was their game plan to get to the All-Star break as early as possible."
The plan worked, at least with a first-pitch home run by Hernan Perez in the third inning, then in the fourth when Milwaukee loaded the bases with nobody out.
Anderson held them to one run that inning, retiring his final 12 batters faced.
"He kept us in it, and kept making pitches," said manager Don Mattingly. "It gave us a chance to get a big hit."
Anderson on the season has a 3.17 ERA, with 77 strikeouts and 28 walks in his 108 innings.
But more importantly, Anderson is healthy. Sunday was the Dodgers' 90th game, and Anderson has started 18 of them. Exactly one-fifth. He has taken the ball every turn in the rotation, and already has his most starts and most innings in a season since 2010.
"I had some ups and downs, but for the most part I gave us a chance to win. I'm healthy, and that's always exciting," Anderson said. "I haven't made it to the All-Star break healthy in a while."
Solid comeback win. Also I made it to the All-Star break healthy, slap hands.— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) July 12, 2015
Since May 1, his ERA is just 2.34, averaging 6.30 innings per start during that span. In his last 10 starts, Anderson is averaging 6.57 innings per start, including six times lasting at least seven frames.
"The way he has thrown the first half, he has been a breath of fresh air for us, especially with the way guys have been beat up and injured. He's been a horse for us, taking those starts and taking the ball," Ellis said. "Hopefully it continues in the second half."
But before the second half comes the All-Star break, which means well-deserved rest. For Anderson, that rest will come at the beach.
"I'm going to work on that tan, much needed," he quipped.
We have reached the All-Star break, with the Dodgers off until Friday, when they open a road trip in Washington D.C. against the Nationals. But five players, along with manager Don Mattingly, are on their way to Cincinnati for the All-Star break