Ron Washington: Tyler Anderson Showing What Leadership Is About In Angels Win Over Astros
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels entered Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros with a chance to win back-to-back road series against American League West opponents, a rare feat for them over the past handful of seasons. And with Tyler Anderson on the mound — a much different version than last season — it seemed very possible for manager Ron Washington’s club.

Anderson has been the Angels best pitcher in 2024. And he showed why once again on Wednesday with a dominant outing against a talented Astros lineup. Anderson went eight innings — the first Angels starter to do so this season — allowing one earned run on six hits and two walks. It’s the fifth time in 10 starts this season that he has completed at least seven frames.

After what transpired last season, not even Washington could have expected this kind of bounce back from Anderson. However, in doing so, Washington believes Anderson is showing what it means to be a leader in a clubhouse, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“It all started with T.A.,” Manager Ron Washington said. “He’s showing what it’s about to lead. … I can’t say enough of what he did and what he’s been doing and what he has done in the past. So it’s very important for our young pitchers to see what it’s like to go out there and leave everything you have on the field. He did that for us today. And got us an opportunity to get a win.”

It’s another victory for the Angels in what has been a strong stretch from a young team. They have won five of their last seven and are a serviceable 8-7 over their last 15 games.

“When you go out there and you treat the game, right, good things start to happen,” Washington said. “And I never doubted that my young squad was going to start putting it together. They’re starting to put it together and starting to believe. I liked the way they’ve been playing baseball in the past eight or nine games.”

Anderson alone has not lifted the Angels to this stretch, but he has been as reliable as anyone wearing a Halo uniform this season, and it is clearly working to rally the roster. Anderson has a 2.52 ERA and 1.057 WHIP with a 163 ERA+. Those would all rival his career bests from his 2022 campaign with the L.A. Dodgers.

Now, the Angels return home hoping to keep this momentum alive.

Ron Washington backs Carlos Estévez

With all of the issues that closer Carlos Estévez has had — a 5.06 ERA and 83 ERA+ — it’s fair to wonder if the Angels will at some point look elsewhere to try and fill that role. The decision ultimately lies with Washington, who has done a great job balancing honest evaluations of players while still giving them a chance to turn things around.

And that is exactly how he plans to approach Estévez, as he shut down any possibility of moving forward with a different closer.

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