Anderson values victory ahead of no-hit bid
SAN FRANCISCO -- As the innings rolled along and the outs piled up, the D-backs began to realize that right-hander Chase Anderson was throwing a no-hitter.
Maybe the last person wearing a gray uniform to notice was Anderson himself, who said it wasn't until the sixth or seventh inning that he realized he had not allowed a hit in what would turn out to be a 1-0 win over the Giants.
Anderson did not allow a hit through the first 6 1/3 innings -- though he did walk opposing pitcher Madison Bumgarner and hit Matt Duffy with a pitch, twice.
"I would say I like the pressure situations," Anderson said. "I've always kind of thrived off that, but you've just got to know that you have to focus on that one pitch to the next pitch. I just try and focus pitch to pitch and that really helps me out for sure."
After he got Angel Pagan to fly out to open the seventh, Anderson fell behind Buster Posey, 2-1, before throwing a two-seam fastball.
"Posey is a really good hitter," D-backs catcher Welington Castillo said. "We got behind in the count and he was taking really good swings on the changeup, so I preferred just to go right at him with a fastball and hope that he hit it right at somebody."
And Posey did hit it right at somebody. Unfortunately it was right at Anderson. The sharp one hopper struck him in the right calf and rolled toward the third-base line, allowing Posey to reach with the Giants' first hit.
Anderson did not miss a beat as he retired the next two hitters to end the inning, and after the game he did not sound disappointed about the lost no-hitter.
"I just wanted to give this team a chance to win," he said. "It was going to be a close game with Bumgarner on the mound. I wanted to do my job with keeping guys off the bases and attacking hitters and getting outs. The main goal, no matter what, is to get the win for the team, pitch deep in games and give these guys a chance, and I take pride in that."
Anderson said Posey's comebacker hit him in the calf muscle, and while it was tight, he did not expect it to cause him to miss his next start.
D-backs manager Chip Hale elected to remove Anderson after the seventh because the chilly conditions tightened the calf muscle and also because he had thrown 96 pitches.
"He just was changing speeds, moving it around," Hale said. "I thought Welington Castillo did a great job handling him. His changeup was very, very good today. He mixed in the breaking ball and spotted his fastball. It was just a great job."
Anderson has been a victim of poor run support for much of the season. He came into the game with the fifth-lowest run-support average in the National League at 2.85 runs per game, which has contributed to his Major League-leading nine no-decisions.
Anderson got support of a different kind on Friday, though, as his defense came up with several big plays to keep the no-hitter in order including a leaping grab by third baseman Aaron Hill and a catch in the left-center gap by left fielder Ender Inciarte.