The Braves top pitching prospect made his second start on Tuesday, instilling even more hope in the Atlanta faithful.
A New York native, Ian Anderson’s first two MLB appearances have been against the Yankees and the Red Sox, who his family grew up cheering for. But I think I can say this with 100% certainty — both teams are glad they won’t have to see much of him over the next five to six years of his career.
After taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Yankees, Anderson produced another dazzling performance on Tuesday night, striking out eight over six innings and walking just one. For the most part, it was a stress-free outing for the rookie, outside of a lengthy third frame, which led to the Red Sox only two runs. However, the most refreshing part about Anderson’s game compared to the rest of the young pitchers we’ve seen this season has been his composure.
From Anderson’s first pitch in the majors, the hard-throwing right-hander has attacked batters with his fastball and filthy changeup, and he wasn’t startled after giving up a couple of runs to a talented Red Sox lineup. He took a deep breath and shut down Boston for the next three innings. Meanwhile, his offense — led by Marcell Ozuna — gave him plenty of run support.
Ozuna hit a towering blast in the first inning to put the Braves up by two. The Red Sox were able to tie it in the third, and the game stayed that way until the sixth when Atlanta added a couple of more runs. Ozuna gave Anderson a little more cushion in the seventh with his second home run of the night before the rookie exited, and then the Braves exploded for five runs in the eighth to break the game open, capped off by Ozuna’s third homer of the night.
But back to Anderson. The Braves may not have made a substantial move at the deadline for a #2 behind Max Fried. However, they might have already found one in the 22-year-old righty. Anderson has the stuff to be an ace, and it’s overwhelmingly apparent that he doesn’t lack confidence. Perhaps the Braves aren’t as screwed as we thought after Alex Anthopoulos stood pat at the trade deadline.