The Dodgers won Tuesday’s thriller with a total of only three hits. After the end of the first on Wednesday, the offense had just as many. However, little did anyone know that it was Tyler Anderson who stole the show in a 4-1 win over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.
The former Rockies left-hander came within two outs of throwing a no-hitter, but let’s not dwell on what could’ve been, and instead focus on what it was: A masterful outing and another Dodgers win.
In the opening inning, Anderson pitched around a walk to Mike Trout with back-to-back strikeouts of Shohei Ohtani and Matt Duffy. On the other side of the pitching matchup, Reid Detmers came in having held the Red Sox and Yankees scoreless over 8.2 innings in his last two starts, albeit with plenty of traffic on the basepaths. eight hits and five walks.
Mookie Betts flew out to lead the bottom of the first, and Detmers proceeded to walk the following two hitters, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner, the latter on four pitches. Will Smith who got the bump in the order with the lefty on the mound, came up to bat with two runners on.
Perhaps with those two walks in mind, Detmers began throwing Smith hangers up in the zone after falling behind in the count. One was okay, two was pushing his luck, and the third time was the charm for Smith, who turned on one to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
Max Muncy and Justin Turner followed Smith with back-to-back singles and even led the Angels ‘pen to begin warming up, but Detmers got out of it with a strikeout of Cody Bellinger and a massive hand from Mike Trout who robbed Chris Taylor of two RBI and at least a double on a fly ball to deep center.
Anderson remained on cruise control through the first three innings with the only other runner reaching via hit by pitch after the Trout walk, and after a quiet second, the long ball came back to bite Detmers in the bottom of the third. An 0-2 slider caught too much of the plate and Trea Turner crushed it out to left-field.
Detmers would ultimately leave the game before completing four innings. Betts was due up with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Phil Nevin didn’t want to risk having his southpaw facing the Dodgers lineup for a third time, especially in a night when he was clearly struggling.
Jimmy Herget who had already warmed up in the first came in and got Betts on a questionable called third strike with a slider that backed up in on Mookie.
Midway through the fifth inning, Dave Roberts started going out to the mound as it looked like Anderson felt something in his left forearm, but the Dodgers lefty waived off his manager and although he proceeded to throw three straight balls to Luis Rengifo. Anderson bounced back in the count and punched out Rengifo looking.
Through six innings, the Angels remained hitless against Anderson. This mark already surpassed Anderson’s start against the Nationals, when the southpaw held the Nats hitless through the first five and two-thirds at the nation’s capital. He ended that outing with eight scoreless and five hits allowed.
Anderson got a couple of quick outs and seemed to wrap up the seventh inning after Jared Walsh hit a dribbler in front of the plate, Anderson got to it quickly but shanked the throw and the Angels' first baseman reached on an error, the second one of the night for the Dodgers defense.
Juan Lagares followed Walsh with a flyout to centerfield, and although the misplay only cost Anderson a few pitches, as the lefty wrapped seven hitless innings with 99 pitches. In this particular situation, every pitch was crucial.
The traditional school of thought dictates that the cut-off point for removing a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter, you do it after the seventh. Joe Torre once famously said that if you send your starter out for the eighth you have to let him finish it.
However, times are different. Craig Counsell removed Corbin Burnes after eight hitless at Cleveland last year and had Josh Hader wrapping up the no-hitter.
Anderson went back out there for the eighth, and it was a rather eventful one. The Oregon product lived near the zone but walked the leadoff man Kurt Suzuki, he got Rengifo on a pop-up to short center, and luck was on his side when Max Stassi scorched a grounder to short, but Trea Turner kept in front of him, and got the force at second.
By the time Anderson struck out Taylor Ward to end the eighth, he had thrown a whopping 117 pitches completely shattering his career-high pitch count.
To get the no-hitter, Anderson would have to go through two MVPs in the top of the ninth inning, an argument could be made that the two best players in baseball stood in front of him in Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
Anderson took care of Trout with a strikeout looking, but the reigning MVP turned on a first-pitch and got it outside the reach of a diving Betts down the line in right. That triple ended Anderson’s night, falling just two outs shy of a no-hitter.
A performance worthy of a standing ovation. Well done, Tyler Anderson. pic.twitter.com/F80bb2cjnP— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 16, 2022
Ohtani scored on a single in the first pitch after Anderson departed, but Craig Kimbrel got the final two outs to wrap up the 4-1 win.
The final accomplishment didn’t come, but on the night of his life, Tyler Anderson was bigger than the game itself and delivered eight and a third masterful innings, and all the strength he had in 123 pitches of pure brilliance.
The southpaw that was signed as rotation depth has the respect and admiration of the entire Dodger nation, not only for what he’s done tonight but for an entire season that’s been more than just a mere pleasant surprise.
Anderson lowered his season ERA to 2.82 and secured his eighth win.
Home runs: Will Smith (8), Trea Turner (8)
WP — Tyler Anderson (8-0): 8⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP — Reid Detmers (2-3): 3⅔ IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
The Dodgers are off Thursday, but host the Cleveland Guardians for three games beginning Friday night at Dodger Stadium.