Anderson leads Braves into NL Division Series
If Ian Anderson was nervous about making his postseason debut, it didn’t show Thursday afternoon. Atlanta's third-ranked prospect, who had just six big league appearances under his belt, allowed just two hits and two walks and struck out nine batters over six frames as the Braves blanked the Reds, 5-0,
Atlanta's third-ranked prospect, who had just six big league appearances under his belt, allowed just two hits and two walks and struck out nine batters over six frames as the Braves blanked the Reds, 5-0, to advance to the National League Division Series.
"It was special to be a part of," Anderson told reporters after the game. "It kind of felt like my (big league) debut, in a way. I had some adrenaline in the first inning, for sure."
No. 34 overall prospect Ian Anderson ties a #Braves franchise mark with 9 K's in his postseason debut as the club advances to the NLDS!— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 1, 2020
➡️ https://t.co/dNOK7QlCrh pic.twitter.com/GUg6FyeSkr
It was Atlanta’s first playoff series victory since 2001. The Braves, who had lost their last 10 postseason series, will face the winner of the Cubs-Marlins series when the NLDS begins Tuesday in Houston.
The No. 34 overall prospect yielded a leadoff single to
"That’s kind of been my thing this year, I guess so far, I have one inning where I really have to battle and grind through it," Anderson said of the second frame. "Just the confidence you get from that kind of propels you through the rest of the outing."
The Braves also set a record by shutting out Cincinnati for all 22 innings of the two-game sweep, surpassing the 1921 Giants (20 innings) for the most consecutive scoreless innings to begin a postseason series.
The third overall pick in 2016 out of an upstate New York high school, Anderson began the season at the Braves’ alternate training site in Gwinnett and did not make his Major League debut until Aug. 26. In that game, the right-hander held the visiting Yankees to one run on one hit -- a homer by
During the spring, the 22-year-old said he thought might be able to contribute to the team, but he wasn't expecting to have to fill in for the likes of
"I thought there was a chance I could be up here and making an impact," he said. "I didn’t think it was going to happen this way unfortunately ... with all the injuries and stuff. It’s rewarding to kind of see how it’s kind of paid off so far. ... This is why you play."
Anderson relied on his potent three-pitch mix against the Reds, using his four-seam fastball (average velocity: 94.5 mph) almost half the time and splitting the other half between his curveball and changeup. He generated 15 swings-and-misses, eight of them on the changeup.
"His demeanor is so, so even-keeled all the time," Braves backstop
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