This past offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made plenty of moves in an attempt to make the postseason for the first time since 2014. They added players who were brought in to be key contributors like Carlos Estevez, Matt Moore, Hunter Renfroe, and Brandon Drury, but the biggest addition the team made was bringing in Tyler Anderson on a three-year deal.
The 33-year-old was coming off of his best season with the Dodgers and was the most expensive addition the Angels made. He was expected to be an important innings eater for an above-average Angels rotation, but like the rest of the staff, Anderson has had an abysmal year.
Anderson entered his start against the Guardians with a 5.55 ERA in 25 appearances (23 starts). Among pitchers with at least 120 innings pitched, his ERA was the fifth-worst in all of baseball. Only six of his 23 starts had met the qualifications for a quality start. Anderson hadn't done anything close to what the Angels expected from him, until his start on Saturday night.
Tyler Anderson shows LA Angels fans what they've been missing with great start vs. Guardians
Tyler Anderson pitched into the seventh inning 11 times last season, completed seven innings ten times, and even completed eight frames twice for the Dodgers. This season, it's been a whole different story. He had pitched into the seventh inning just twice, and hadn't completed seven frames a single time until Saturday night.
In his start against the Guardians, Anderson not only completed seven, but he delivered eight strong innings. He gave up two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts in an Angels victory. He even outdueled former Angel Lucas Giolito in the process.
Anderson's issues this season have largely stemmed from his inability to get ahead of hitters and throw strikes consistently enough, but he had everything working against this Cleveland lineup. He was generating ground balls and weak content in what was undoubtedly his best start of the season.
It would've been nice to have this version of Anderson months ago when the Angels were in postseason contention, but the southpaw finishing strongly would give the Angels much more confidence in him for the 2024 season.