OAKLAND — Brett Anderson did everything but get the win Wednesday afternoon. The A's veteran left-hander turned in his best performance of the season, tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and no walks. Unfortunately, Oakland's bats couldn't provide any run support, as the Mariners snapped the A's four-game win streak, 2-0 in 12 innings.
“He was great,” said catcher Jonathan Lucroy. “We were mixing, throwing strikes, working ahead. The changeup was big today. He just threw really well. I wish we could have scored runs for him. He deserved it.”
Anderson mowed the Mariners down inning after inning, recording 16 ground ball outs, compared to just five fly balls. He threw first pitch strikes to 21 of the 27 batters he faced.
“Just mixing pitches and staying down in the zone,” Anderson said. “Being aggressive and trying to keep the ball off the barrel, and for the most part I was able to do that today.”
“You saw a lot of balls on the ground, and a lot of weak contact,” added A's manager Bob Melvin. “To expect him to get us that deep in the game was probably a stretch, but he just kept performing well, to the point where he deserved to go back out.”
Wednesday's outing continued an impressive August for Anderson. In three starts, he has allowed just two runs in 19 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 0.92.
“His changeup has been a big pitch for him,” Melvin said. “He's not trying to get strikeouts, not spinning the ball as much. It's more good sinker, good changeup, and using his breaking ball when he has to. It's the weak contact. He's not going to be a strikeout guy anymore. It's going to be weak contact, and that's what he was getting today.”
“You want to be a guy who continues to go out there and give your team a chance to win,” Anderson added. “I don't get a lot of strikeouts, but I'll take the efficiency, and pitching into the eighth inning is always good.”
As a whole, the A's starting rotation has been spectacular recently. In their last 14 games, Oakland's starters have gone 8-1 with a 1.84 ERA.
“That's when teams are going their best,” Anderson said. “You want to match or do better than the next guy. We all push each other. It's fun when we're going well like this.”