They probably won’t write a children’s book about it, but Brett Anderson’s day could have gone better.
After waiting out a lengthy rain delay to start last night’s game, the Cubs’ lefty was greeted by more rain, wind and cold, and a Phillies lineup that greedily posted a four spot in the first inning.
Three of those four runs came on one swing, which could always go another way, but that swing, a Tommy Joseph three-run homer, connected with a 2-2 pitch that was right there in the middle of the plate. The other run in the inning scored on an Aaron Altherr double on a similarly-located pitch.
Anderson came out for the second inning, only to be met with more unkind Phillies bats. By the end of his outing, he’d recorded just one more out, and allowed three more runs to score.
On the night, Anderson’s line reads 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 K. By game score, it was his worst start since 2011. Very bad day, indeed.
Maybe the rain delay, the first inning downpour, and the sloppy conditions threw him off, but there were some other bad signals in this one beyond the line. Out of his 43 pitches, just one netted a whiff. Out of 12 batters faced, only 4 put the ball on the ground. Generally speaking, his pitches were not consistently down, and he paid for it with sharp contact. Three of the hits he gave up were sent out at over 100mph.
Anderson summed it up to CSN with “there are no positives to gain from this outing,” which sounds about right.
On the year, Anderson has a 6.23 ERA, a 4.48 FIP, and a 4.35 xFIP, and out of his five starts, he’s actually had good results in three (1 ER in his debut, 0 ER in his second start, and 1 ER last time out), but the peripherals were pretty ugly each time, and the results in his other two starts were disastrous.
I do believe you have to have a little bit of runway for a guy who is coming back from yet another lost season to injury, and with the Cubs trying to manage his delivery to optimize health. He’s been so successful when healthy in the past, that it remains extremely plausible that he’ll settle into a groove soon enough.
But, like Anderson said, there were no positives to take away from this particular terrible, horrible, no good, very bad start.
“Hopefully going forward,” Anderson told CSN, “you can pitch in five-to-six-day rotation, hit that stride and hopefully get some consistent weather, consistent circumstances and pitch better, do better going forward.”