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    Tyler Anderson dominates as Angels’ hitters end drought
    • July 6, 2024

    CHICAGO —When Kevin Pillar gave his teammates a speech before the game about how it was his “mentality” that allowed him to reach 10 years of big-league service, it resonated with Tyler Anderson.

    “And I felt like for me, that’s something I can relate to,” the Angels left-hander said. “I feel like the last few starts I’d gotten away from that, so just trying to go back to being the way I am normally, and trying to compete more than anything. That was really rewarding for me, more than anything else.”

    Anderson took that attitude to the mound for eight dominant innings in the Angels’ 7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon, ending the team’s five-game losing streak.

    “He gave us what we needed today,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “He did a tremendous job.”

    Anderson was good enough that he could have won even if the Angels (37-51) hadn’t finally woken up at the plate. After they scored one run in the previous three games, they scored in each of the first five innings.

    That gave Anderson the freedom to pound the strike zone, with a first-pitch strike to 18 of 27 hitters.

    “If I’m ahead in the count, I can throw whatever I want,” Anderson said. “You have a lot more options than when you’re behind. I had been falling behind a lot the last few starts, so that was a big thing for me.”

    Anderson gave up a leadoff single and then retired the next 13 Cubs in a row. He allowed only three singles, retiring 24 of 27 hitters. Chicago didn’t have a runner reach second base. Anderson struck out 10, equaling his career high. He threw just 98 pitches, and only two of them cracked 90 mph.

    “Eleven ground balls, 10 K’s and three fly balls,” Washington said. “That’s about as good as it gets really.”

    Anderson has been good all season, compiling a 2.86 ERA in 18 starts and 110 innings. It’s been a remarkable turnaround from his 5.43 ERA in the first year of his three-year, $39-million deal with the Angels.

    Now, he’s got a good shot to be named an All-Star when the full rosters are announced Sunday.

    “It’s a cool honor if you can get it,” Anderson said. “I think for me, this year, I felt like my goal was to go out and compete and give the guys a chance. Last year, I didn’t do that very well. Wasn’t myself. This year, the whole thing is about just trying to go out and compete.”

    Anderson did to the Cubs exactly what pitchers had been doing to the Angels this week. The Angels were shut out on 92 pitches Wednesday, and they saw just 95 pitches in scoring one run on Friday.

    Looking to work deeper counts Saturday, the Angels began the day with a promising plate appearance. Nolan Schanuel drew a nine-pitch walk. Schanuel came around to score, and the Angels added a run in the second, three in the third and single runs in the fourth and fifth.

    Jo Adell capped the scoring with a 431-foot homer in the fifth. It was his 13th of the season. Adell, who has been slumping lately, said Pillar also inspired him before the homer with a talk about his approach at the plate.

    “It was just kind of a cool moment to kind of take a little bit of his experience and his advice and be able to go and produce,” Adell said.

    Everyone in the lineup had a hit or a walk by the fourth inning.

    Schanuel reached base four times, including two hits. Taylor Ward reached three times. Keston Hiura and Logan O’Hoppe each had two hits, including a double for O’Hoppe.

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    All told, the Angels had 12 hits and six walks.

    The performance came after the Angels took batting practice on the field, which they weren’t going to do. Washington wanted to skip it for all three of the games in this series because he felt the players needed a mental break. But hitting coach Johnny Washington disagreed, so Ron Washington deferred to his judgment.

    Yes, the Angels are going to have batting practice again Sunday.

    “Just goes to show you,” Ron Washington said, “sometimes as the skipper you don’t know what you’re doing.”

    ​ Orange County Register 

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