The Los Angeles Angels lost last night's game, but for the first time in the last four Tyler Anderson starts, he's not the one to blame for that.
The offense managed just one run in the game, and not a single one of their nine hits went for extra bases. Aaron Loup allowed what wound up being the winning run to score. They lost a frustrating game.
For the first time since his first start of the season, the Angels got what they were expecting to get from Tyler Anderson. He pitched brilliantly.
LA Angels pitcher Tyler Anderson finally gives fans the outing they've been waiting for
Tyler Anderson introduced himself to Angels fans in Oakland and pitched brilliantly. He pitched six scoreless innings and the team cruised to victory. While that was nice to see, that's Oakland. His next three starts came against Toronto, Boston, and Kansas City. He allowed at least five earned runs and didn't get past 5.1 innings in either one. The Angels did manage to win his Toronto start but lost the other two despite having leads with Anderson on the mound in both.
There were plenty of reasons to be concerned with the southpaws early-season performance. He allowed 14 home runs in his 30 appearances and 178.2 innings pitched last season. Heading into his start last night, he had already allowed five in four starts and 20 innings pitched. His walks were up, his strikeouts were down. He just wasn't locating whatsoever. That changed in Milwaukee.
Anderson turned in what in my opinion what his best start as an Angel. It certainly helped that the Brewers are a team that has struggled against lefties, but I felt his command was there for most of the night, and he ended his outing looking as strong as ever.
His outing didn't get off to the best start. Anderson allowed a first inning home run to Willy Adames, and all I kept thinking was here we go again. In the second inning he got out of a bases loaded jam. After a perfect third, Anderson got out of yet another jam in the fourth. That's when things seemed to click for him.
The southpaw retired ten batters in a row spanning from one out in the fourth to two outs in the seventh. After walking Christian Yelich he was pulled from the game. He was brilliant.
Anderson struck out seven batters after striking out just 11 in his first four starts. He did walk three which is not ideal, but he didn't allow a hit after the fourth and the only extra-base hit he allowed was the Adames home run.
Anderson's changeup finally looked like the dominant pitch it was last season. Of the 26 swings Brewers batters took against that pitch, they whiffed 13 times. Also notably, Anderson was throwing harder. His fastball was averaging 89.6 mph heading into the outing. He averaged 91.2 mph last night. That's a 1.6 mph difference, which clearly played a big role.
To me, he looked like he had command of the strike zone from the fourth inning on, and his pitches looked sharper. I was really encouraged by what I saw from Anderson even with the loss. It's a shame the bats and Aaron Loup blew it.