Braves: Ian Anderson once again proved he’s an ace

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As a brave soldier once said, “just let me get one more.”

If you don’t know the quote, go watch Hacksaw Ridge. It’s an incredible movie.

Anyways, the Braves went into Game 2 today with chips on their shoulders and everything to prove. Coming off a 9-5 finish yesterday, it looked like they still had a lot of momentum left over. Jethro Tull and the pitching staff stayed hotter than ever, shutting out the Marlins, coming one game closer to the NLCS and becoming the first team to shut out three out of four games to start the postseason. 

Why was today such an insanely important win? Well, two things. It’s the first time the Braves have won four postseason games in a row since 1999, and they are on track to head to their first NLCS since 2001.

Let’s turn back the clock for a second. It’s a cool, October evening. America is still healing. Lifehouse’s Hangin’ By a Moment is #1 on the Billboard top 100. The movie world got introduced to a glasses-wearing ten-year-old named Harry Potter. The tag team of Chipper and Andruw Jones are in the heart of the Atlanta lineup, and we’re in Phoenix, set to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A lot has happened since that fateful series in 2001. Harry defeated Voldemort to close the final chapter of Harry Potter (the books and movies have been out for years, I will not apologize for anything). We’ve seen two new presidents. The economy boomed, nearly crashed, and then boomed again. And, of course, the Braves are one game away from being back in the NLCS.

The last out is recorded, the bats are away, and the Braves have hit the showers. We’ve only got one left. Today exemplified how tenacious the Braves are; they’re unwilling to let down, even for a second. What caused the big shutout win today? Well, let’s see.

What Went Right

Jazz Flute

The eclectic woodwind connoisseur put down his instrument and made some music with a baseball today. Ian Anderson wasted no time on the mound, pitching an absolute gem. He held the Marlins scoreless, posting 8 strikeouts through 5 2/3 while giving up only 3 hits and a single walk.

He also joined a pretty elite list of young pitchers.

The hype behind the young pitcher remains intact; he’s not underwhelming, and he wasn’t overstated. He simply just is Ian Anderson. He carried his regular-season success, highlighted by a 1.95 ERA, right into the postseason and remains unphased by the bigger stage and brighter lights. I’ll admit — I was a little bit upset when AA continued his refusal for the big trade. But, if I had to choose between Anderson and the likes of Clevinger, Archer, and Yelich, I’m picking Anderson every single day of the week.

Bats

The Braves picked up right where they left off yesterday, attacking the Marlins early and keeping the lead from then on out.

After yesterday’s 9-5 finish, seemingly fueled by Acuna’s HBP, there was enough momentum left over to carry them through today. The two big bats of yesterday’s game, Swanson and D’Arnaud, wasted no time getting the Braves on the board early.

By the way, that wasn’t a sound effect in TDA’s home run video. He actually hit it THAT hard.

When the bigger stars like Freeman and Acuna have remained as cold as they have, guys like Swanson and TDA have stepped it up big time, proving that they’re more than just spots in a lineup. These two are bonafide stars, and they’re locked in to take Atlanta as far as they can the rest of the postseason.

Now What?

We’ve had a postseason run so far that every Braves fan knew we could have. We got a huge win today. It’s okay to celebrate. Just remember: we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have one game between us and the NLCS.

All the action comes back to FS1 tomorrow at 2:08 PM. The Braves will be on the visiting side with esteemed youngster Kyle Wright on the bump.

 

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