The Angels have been a sight for sore eyes as the struggling Dodgers completed the mini-sweep of their Freeway Series rivals in a 4-1 victory to hopefully set them back on the right path.
But tonight was almost a lot more special than that, as Tyler Anderson took a no-hit bid into the 9th inning before a Shohei Ohtani hit with one-out fell beyond the desperate attempt by Mookie Betts for a triple to break it up.
Angels starter Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter earlier in the year but has struggled to get deep into games for the most part, something that certainly wasn’t helped by facing the usually patient Dodgers tonight.
Shockingly, the fireworks started early for the Dodgers, as Freddie Freeman drew a one-out walk and stole second, Trea Turner also drew a walk, and Will Smith bombed a 2-2 pitch to left for his eighth homer of the year and a 3-0 lead.
Why shock? That ended an 0-19 skid for the Dodgers with RISP that dated back to Saturday.
In the 3rd, Trea made sure his couldn’t be robbed, drilling his eighth homer of the year to make it 4-0.
Detmers only made it 3.2 innings, but the Angels pen didn’t give up anything else as the lineup continued to struggle a bit.
But that wasn’t really the story.
After having just his second rough outing of the season last time out, Tyler Anderson rebounded in a big way, even seemingly fighting against his own body to do it.
The no-hit bid actually started controversially with Taylor Ward leading off the game by flying a ball into right that led to a collision between Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts. The collision jarred the ball loose and was ruled live, but Ward was thrown out trying to stretch it for a double. Confusingly it was ruled an error on Bellinger.
No runs came of it, but it obviously became relevant because aside from walking a batter in the 1st and hitting a batter in the 2nd, Anderson didn’t surrender anything else through six. This despite the fact that starting around the fifth he looked to be in constant discomfort, massaging himself and stretching out on the mound and in the dugout.
Didn’t seem to matter that much, as he retired 17 straight at one point until he made an error himself on a dribbler down the line in the 7th. It was a hilarious one that almost looked like it was on purpose to keep his no-no going.
Anyway, he then got through the 7th and then came out for the 8th despite his pitch count. He issued a walk and labored a bit in the inning, but ended it with a strikeout at 117 pitches.
Despite a previous season-high pitch count of 99 and a career-high of 108, Dave Roberts shockingly let him go into the 9th at 117 pitches.
He would have to earn it with Trout and Ohtani due up first. After he got Trout looking, it looked very possible, but he left his first pitch to Ohtani up and out, who yanked it down the line for a triple past an amusing Mookie attempt to end the bid.
A deserved ovation.
Craig Kimbrel then entered to make sure that wasn’t all for naught and gave up as many hits on one pitch as Anderson did in 123, surrendering a single to Matt Duffy to break the shutout and make it 4-1. But he rebounded with back-to-back strikeouts to secure the W.
Regardless, the story was obviously Anderson’s magical night.
I know it’s being a bit of a killjoy to talk about this now, but I do have concern in the aftermath of this. Anderson’s pitch count was way over any other start in his career, and he’s legitimately the second-most important pitcher on this staff right now, so I hope they take care of him after this with extra rest or something cause he already didn’t look too comfortable during the start itself at times.
Anyway, going back to his importance, I’m not saying he necessarily should be an All-Star, but he has a Top 20 WAR in the NL now and would be Top 10 in ERA, FIP, xERA if he qualified, which he’s mainly held back by not being allowed to start early in the year.
The changeup discarder.
Horny on main.
39-23 on the year and remaining in the NL West lead despite a tie with the Padres due to a tiebreaker.