Anderson back to form in solid debut for Cubs

Anderson back to form in solid debut for Cubs

MILWAUKEE -- If University of Houston baseball coach Frank Anderson seemed a little distracted on Friday night during the Cougars' game, it's because his son, Brett, was making his debut for the Cubs. This wasn't just another outing for the lefty, but his first after missing nearly all of 2016 following back surgery.

The good news is that Houston beat East Carolina, 17-3, and Brett Anderson did well in his start.

"Anderson was outstanding," manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs' 2-1 loss in 11 innings to the Brewers. "It looked like everything was working from the side. I thought he and [catcher Willson Contreras] played well together. When you pitch well, we normally expect to win that game."

Anderson gave up one run on five hits -- including a game-tying bloop RBI single by Jesus Aguilar in the sixth -- over 5 2/3 innings.

"From a personal standpoint, health-wise, body-wise, giving us a chance to win, I was overall pleased with that," Anderson said. "You'd almost feel better about giving up a 500-foot homer in the first than a weak single in the sixth."

His mother, sister, grandmother and girlfriend made the trip to Miller Park. And Brett's dad?

"He probably asked some of his players there to follow during his game," Brett said. "I'm sure my dad was following along even though he wouldn't tell anybody during the game."

Anderson was limited to four games with the Dodgers last year because of his back.

"Any time you make your first start of the year, with a new team, a team coming off a World Series [you want to make a a good impression]," he said. "I've been around in spring, but you want to show why you're here and that you belong, and you'll fit in with the other guys. Aside from a few pitches here and there, I felt I did that. Hopefully, I can take that going forward."

He gave an update so his Twitter followers could tell how the outing went: "Bad ending but still better than any of my outings last year ... so I'll take it"

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.