In what felt like a must-win game for the Braves at Citi Field, the bats came out swinging. Dansby Swanson began the festivities with a double, and Eddie Rosario capped off the first inning with a three-run homer. The Braves would add four more runs in the second, forcing Taijuan Walker out of the game before he could record the fourth out. With an eight-run lead, it looked like most Braves fans would be able to enjoy their Friday night without any worries, but Ian Anderson wouldn’t allow that to happen with an effort that could land him back in Gwinnett.
Following arguably the best outing of the season last time out against the Diamondbacks, Anderson returned to his abysmal form against the Mets. He had no control of the zone, walking four batters in 4.2 innings, most of which came when he had a lead of seven runs or more. Even when Anderson did force it into the zone, New York’s lineup was barreling everything. He wasn’t even able to get through five innings to qualify for the win, and by the time he exited, the Mets were right back in the ball game.
Several nail-biting moments transpired over the next couple of innings, but the Braves were able to escape by the skin of their teeth. A.J. Minter looked like he was ready for the postseason, and Raisel Iglesias was electric in his Braves debut.
But as much as I would love to talk about what was a much-needed win for the Braves, the story of the night is Ian Anderson. We are officially at the point where there is no other option but to send him to Gwinnett. The games are too critical at this juncture, and he cannot be trusted. There’s a reason the Braves went out and snagged Jake Odorizzi at the deadline. Anderson was already on his last straw, and his ship sunk on Friday night.
It’s no longer a matter of if Anderson will be optioned to Gwinnett, it’s when. Because of the way the schedule shakes out with a doubleheader tomorrow and another one next week against the Marlins, he may get one last opportunity to prove he belongs on the 26-man roster. But it will probably take a herculean effort to convince the Braves to keep him up.
Reliever Kirby Yates is nearing a return. He will need a roster spot, and as I said in an article yesterday, it’s likely he takes Anderson’s place. Following last night’s performance, it’s looking like that’s the direction the Braves will go.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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