CINCINNATI -- For the second straight start, Dodgers starter Brett Anderson left early with an injury. After only three-plus innings in Saturday's 11-1 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park, Anderson was lifted with a blister on his left index finger.
Anderson allowed five runs in the first two innings and then he began the fourth with a four-pitch walk to opposing pitcher Brandon Finnegan before throwing a 2-1 pitch to Billy Hamilton to the backstop. After that, head athletic trainer Neil Rampe and manager Dave Roberts came out to look at Anderson, and pulled him from the game.
"I didn't realize it until that third inning and he just wasn't getting his breaking ball over and didn't have any feel," Roberts said. "So talking to the trainers, they said there was something going on with his index finger. That's when it really became evident to me."
The problem arose for Anderson in his last rehab start, on Aug. 8 for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was able to complete five innings that night on 71 pitches and worked to counteract the problem. However, it flared up later in Saturday's outing, around the third or fourth inning.
"I had it, but it was tough enough, the skin was tough enough, where I could pitch and I was fine and then I don't know if the humidity caught up with me and the conditions and stuff," Anderson said. "Regardless, I wanted to battle through it and give us a chance. Just didn't work out that way."
In the innings before the blister became a problem, Anderson allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks over three innings. Combining that with his first start of the season, which lasted just one inning, Anderson has a 24.75 ERA, including a combined nine first-inning runs.
"I'm not Clayton [Kershaw] by any means, but I want to be a guy that's counted on to go out there and, good, bad or indifferent, provide innings and give us quality starts and give us a chance," Anderson said. "We're in the pennant race and you want to come in and help your team win ballgames and I've done a pretty terrible job of that thus far. I know I'm a good pitcher, I know I can get people out and get this behind me and hopefully good things happen going forward."
Anderson's last start was also cut short due to an injury to his left wrist. He started the season on the disabled list with a back injury. Anderson has had problems with his back since 2014, when he was with the Rockies. He has made eight trips to the disabled list since 2010, including four stints on the 60-day DL.
"Fragile's a bad word, but I've had weird circumstances happen to me," Anderson said. "It's something I've had to deal with and keep telling myself it's going to be behind me. I know I'm a good pitcher and I know I can get people out, it just hasn't really worked out this way the first two starts of this year. Going forward, hopefully I can get these things behind me and give us a chance to win more times than not like I did last year."