It's been eight years since a Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher last threw a no-hitter.
Tyler Anderson did his best to break that drought, but fell two outs shy of throwing what would have been the 26th no-hitter in franchise history on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Anderson lost his no-hit bid in the ninth inning after allowing a one-out triple past a diving Mookie Betts to reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani would eventually come around to score the Angels only run, and was the primary figure of Japanese Heritage Night that was celebrated at the Ravine on Wednesday.
"I may never have the chance to do that again," said Anderson. "I wanted to go out for that ninth and at least try."
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The irony that it was Ohtani who broke up the no-hitter on this special event night was not lost on Anderson.
"He told me, 'it is a little ironic that it's Shohei on Japanese Heritage night broke up the no-hitter, so he couldn't be too upset,'" said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of what Anderson told him after Ohtani's triple.
Roberts, who has famously pulled pitchers from no-hitters and perfect games in the past, including with Clayton Kershaw in Minnesota earlier this season, said that it was a tough decision to let Anderson keep going after the no-hitter despite his high pitch-count.
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"I just felt I wanted to give him the opportunity and that he earned it," said Roberts of his decision. "Knowing that he's going to have a couple extra days before his next turn, and that he had a short outing after his last start in Chicago, I thought he had some bullets saved and that he didn't have a lot of stress in this game. Everything lined up to give him this opportunity."
Anderson improved to a perfect 8-0 this season after throwing a career-high 123 pitches. He walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 50,812 at Dodger Stadium, and tried his best to embrace the moment.
"It felt like a really big spot in a playoff game situation," said Anderson. "The crowd was really, really into it. I could feel the energy in that situation and you don't feel that too often."
After another standing ovation from the crowd to end the 8th, Anderson came back out for the ninth to a huge roar and applause. He began the inning by throwing a called third strike past three-time AL MVP Mike Trout.
That's when Ohtani came to the plate and ended the no-hit bid with one swing. Roberts immediately came out to remove Anderson from the game in favor of closer Craig Kimbrel. Anderson tipped his cap to the crowd as he walked off the mound. The Dodgers would win the game 4-1, and sweep the two-game Freeway Series.
Anderson allowed six total base runners, including Ohtani, and there was some controversy to start the game.
Taylor Ward began the game with a fly ball to right-center that saw Betts and centerfielder Cody Bellinger collide on the play, allowing the ball to bounce out of Betts' glove. Originally, the official scorer ruled it a hit, but changed it to an error a few minutes later.
The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Will Smith in the first and a solo shot by Trea Turner in the third that accounted for all four runs.
Anderson's no-hit bid came on the heels of St. Louis Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas coming within one out of a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
There have been two no-hitters this season, and only one solo performance. Ironically, that came from Angels' starter Reid Detmers who started for the Halos in Wednesday's game.
The Angels have fallen back to earth after their hot start to the season. They've lost 11 straight games on the road and 18 of 20 overall. After a recent 14-game losing streak they fired manager Joe Maddon.
Anderson, a former first-round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2011, improved to a perfect 8-0 on the season. In his seven-year career that has seen him play for the Rockies, Giants, Pirates, Mariners, and now Dodgers, he has only only one winning season. That came with San Francisco during the 60-game shortened 2020 season when he finished 4-3.
"I told him this is your moment," said Roberts when he came to take the ball from Anderson in the 9th inning.
"It would have been better if I had gotten two more outs," replied Anderson.