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Tyler Anderson shows again why he is a reference player for the Dodgers

Tyler Anderson threw 86 pitches Sunday, none of them traveling faster than 92 mph, the Dodgers’ left-hander content to cruise in the slow lane while many of his teammates coast down the freeway at 97-98 mph.

But what Anderson lacks in speed, he makes up for in dominance, trickery and cunning, a combination that earned the 32-year-old with the herky-jerky delivery a spot in the playoff rotation. He was on display again in his final regular season start.

The Dodgers lost to Colorado 4-1 before 44,091 at Chavez Ravine, their normally potent offense scoring three singles from the Rockies’ starter. German Marquez (9-13) and relievers justin lawrence other daniel bardthe latter struck out six of his last seven batters for the save.

Anderson (15-5) took the loss but pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on six hits in five innings, tying his career high with 10 strikeouts and no walks.

One of Anderson’s downsides is that he has no swing-and-miss stuff, his three-pitch mix consists of a four-seam fastball averaging 90.7 mph, a 79.0 mph changeup and an 85.7 mph fastball. .

But Anderson induced 21 swing strikes and 10 called strikes among his 86 pitches against the Rockies. That should play into the postseason.

“I think one bias as far as pitching in the playoffs is that people look at strikeouts and stuff, but I don’t think those things are the same,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The radar gun is easy to quantify, but commanding, being able to sequence [pitches] It is important.

“He has a [superb] change, and most importantly, he’s a guy I trust. The postseason is about putting guys in a position to be successful, but also about going with guys that you believe in and trust.”

That’s high praise for a seven-year veteran who opened the season as a bulky reliever before taking a spot in the rotation in late April when Andrew Heaney went down with a shoulder injury.

Anderson, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal in March, finished the regular season 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA, the fifth-best ERA in the NL and more than two completed runs better than 4.62. career ERA with which he entered the season. He struck out 138 and walked 34 in 178⅔ innings.

Along the way, Anderson made his first All-Star team, taking a no-hitter in the ninth inning of a June 15 start against the Angels, and went 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA with 24 strikeouts and six walks. by balls in five starts in July.

“The regular season was good, but I didn’t come here [just] have a good regular season,” Anderson said. “I came to have the opportunity to be in the postseason. It’s encouraging that they trust me to go out there and compete with these guys. [in the playoffs]. Once that starts, hopefully the best starts are ahead.”

Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw are lined up to start the first two games of the NL Division Series on Oct. 1. 11-12 Anderson will start Game 3 or 4, giving him nearly two weeks between starts.

Dodgers pitcher Tyler Anderson delivers during the second inning. He finished the regular season 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

“He’s going to be a big part of this,” Roberts said of Anderson’s role in the World Series chase. “Every start, every inning, every pitch is important, but it’s going to knock down a lot of innings for us to be good and win a championship. Knowing that he’s going to start a game in the first series beyond…he’s obviously earned it.

Anderson hit an 0-and-2 cut to Brendan Rodgers, who hit the error over the center-field wall for a solo homer in the first inning Sunday, and Ryan McMahon hit a run on a double in the third, but otherwise was ready. he struck out seven batters on his fastball and three on his changeup.

“Obviously, you don’t want to walk away with a loss, but I felt like for the most part I threw really good pitches,” Anderson said. “I feel like I’m in a good place with everything, so I’ll take that overall.”

short jumps

The Dodgers scored in the third inning when Gavin Lux walked, took third on Trayce Thompson’s soft single to right field and reached home on Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice fly to center field. They trailed 2-1 when they put up two no-outs in the eighth on an infield single and an error, but Bard struck out Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith on 98-mph fastballs. … The Rockies scored twice off reliever Andre Jackson in the ninth inning, an inning that began with right fielder Joey Gallo missing Randal Grichuk’s fly ball under the sun on a 3-pointer. … Justin Turner returned as designated hitter after missing four games due to a bruised left leg, but left fielder Chris Taylor, cut from Saturday’s lineup due to neck strain, did not play and is considered day-to-day . “It’s not great,” Roberts said of Taylor. “For Chris to say that he can’t play is certainly revealing.”

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