With the Braves up 1-0 in the NLCS, Ian Anderson took the mound in the third postseason appearance of his career as a severe underdog. The Dodgers, who were the overwhelming favorite to win the World Series, were projected to jump all over the rookie. However, Anderson never caved, and once again held the opponent’s lineup without a run.
From the first inning, Anderson showed his youth. He jumped ahead of Mookie Betts before walking him and then walked Max Muncy later in the inning before forcing Will Smith to groundout to end the frame without any damage.
Anderson was able to pitch a clean second inning, but by the time the third arrived, so did trouble. Mookie Betts forced another walk with one out, Justin Turner put two on with a single, and then Max Muncy loaded them up with his second walk of the game. Fortunately, Anderson is one of those 22-year-olds who doesn’t feel pressure and was able to force Will Smith to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
After that, the Braves offensive onslaught began. Freeman homered in the fourth, leading to seven straight Atlanta runs before Corey Seager slapped a three-run homer the opposite way. Thankfully, Ozzie Albies was able to add a run in the ninth because the Dodgers were not done, scoring four before Mark Melancon shut the door in the final frame.
For Braves fans, it was far more excitement than was needed. However, Ian Anderson left the press conference with an interesting statement:
#Braves RHP Ian Anderson said he's "definitely" ready to pitch on short rest during the NLCS if needed. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 14, 2020
As much as we should appreciate the commitment and the fact that Anderson threw less than 90 pitches, there is no reason to think he will have to pitch on short rest.
The Braves are currently up 2-0 in the series. Kyle Wright is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Depending on what happens in Game 3; Bryse Wilson could take the mound in Game 4 or the bullpen. After that, it is anybody’s guess.
With the Braves up 2-0, they aren’t in a rush to push anybody. Max Fried could pitch Game 5, but unless it is 2-2, I would imagine they would let him rest, meaning Anderson would not have to be used until at least Game 6.
Hopefully, this isn’t something we will have to worry about, and it will not be if the Braves take care of business tomorrow.
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