When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Brett Anderson to a one-year deal in the offseason it was with visions he would be the club’s fifth starter in the rotation and was a low-risk, high-reward signing.
Now just over one month into the 2015 regular season, Anderson’s importance to remain healthy and pitch well can’t be understated. The Dodgers have already lost Brandon McCarthy to season-ending Tommy John surgery and continue to move along without Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose expected date of return is greatly unknown.
Anderson made his sixth start Friday and first against the Colorado Rockies, with whom he spent an injury-shortened 2014 season with. Not one to pass on the opportunity to poke fun at himself, Anderson found comedy in him being the first Dodgers pitcher to throw a complete game this season, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
You probably would have lost a lot of money if you had this as your first complete game win for a Dodger this season,” Anderson joked.
With the Dodgers nursing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Anderson was one out away from making the game official as a heavy downpour threatened to cut it short. Charlie Blackmon drew a two-out walk, which was followed by a Corey Dickerson chopper up the middle.
Justin Turner, playing second base, managed to prevent the ball from bouncing into center field but his off balance throw to Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t in time to get the crucial third out of the inning. However, Blackmon continued running the bases during the sequence and Gonzalez threw home for a bang-bang play at the plate in which Blackmon was called out.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the ruling but after a lengthy review that lasted over three minutes, the call was upheld. The rain subsided during the review process, which allowed the game to carry on in the sixth. It again picked up as the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out and was put into another delay.
One hour and 40 minutes later the game was called and the Dodgers had a rain-shortened, five-inning road win. Anderson, who later discussed the difficulty in pitching under Friday’s circumstances, was the pitcher of record and earned his first complete game since 2011 when he was with the Oakland Athletics.
The win moved Anderson to 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. The Rockies scored one unearned run against their former teammate, meaning Anderson now has not given up an earned run in consecutive starts for the first time this season.