The Los Angeles Dodgers earned a 4-1 win to complete a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series, led by a dominant effort from Tyler Anderson, who fell two outs shy of throwing a first career no-hitter.
Anderson struck out Mike Trout to start the ninth inning but then lost an opportunity to throw the 27th no-hitter in Dodgers franchise history when Shohei Ohtani’s line drive to right field fell for a triple. Anderson exited at a career-high 123 pitches.
That he was left in the game to pursue MLB history came as a mild surprise considering Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ decision-making history. “I think in each of those situations, there was a reason,” Roberts reiterated when discussing previously removing a pitcher from a no-hitter but leaving Anderson in.
“Whether it’s a guy that’s never done it and coming off surgery, or a guy that’s got a finger that’s bleeding every throw he makes.
“In this situation, like I mentioned it was short the start before and he’s got two extra days. It was stress-free, so I just felt he earned that opportunity. A lot of times I look at each individual situation.
“I know I’ve got this reputation as the Grim Reaper, but I’m a sports fan too. I really felt I wanted that just as much as Tyler and his teammates wanted that for him.”
Roberts made the decision to let Anderson finish his potential no-hitter after he needed only five pitches to complete the eighth inning. “I think once he got through there, at a certain point he knew that he had to go out there and throw strikes, not walk guys,” Roberts said.
“They were either going to get a hit or it was going to end pretty quickly. So again, I just felt that how we got there, there wasn’t much cost. And again, I know his teammates wanted it, I know the fans wanted it.
“And then when I look objectively at the short- and longterm, it made sense. Like I said, I thought he earned it.”
Roberts also acknowledged that he took Anderson’s career into consideration, as well as the sold-out crowd at Dodger Stadium, in letting the southpaw take the mound for the ninth inning.
“This is the Dodgers. It’s Dodger Stadium. It’s the Freeway Series. It’s Trout, Ohtani. And you’ve got Tyler Anderson here with an opportunity to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning,” Roberts said.
“I mean, with 50,000 people, you talk about odds, that’s a special moment. I just didn’t want him to feel discounted. That’s a special moment, regardless. That’s awesome.”
Roberts: Anderson wouldn’t be ‘compromised’ by finishing no-hitter
Roberts in the past has removed the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Ross Stripling from no-hit bids for various reasons, including high pitch count and injury risk.
Roberts did not believe Anderson fell into the same category and thus allowed him to pursue history. “Well, I have taken it out on certain players hands. But those are reasons that I felt that could compromise health for the player,” Roberts explained.
“So if I ever felt that, which I have, and I’ve shown that, then I’m not afraid to pull the plug. And I sleep well at night knowing I can protect the player. But in this particular instance, I felt that that wasn’t going to be compromised.”
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