Anderson stingy again as Braves win
Ian Anderson put on a show in his Major League postseason debut last week. On Wednesday, he gave Braves fans an encore. MLB Pipeline’s No. 34 overall prospect worked around three hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight, as the Braves beat the Marlins, 2-0, in
MLB Pipeline’s No. 34 overall prospect worked around three hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight, as the Braves beat the Marlins, 2-0, in Game 2 of the NLDS. Atlanta is one win away from the NL Championship Series.
"It doesn't seem like the moment ever matters to him. He just keeps pitching and trusting his stuff," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of Anderson, who joined Steve Avery (1991) and Lew Burdette (1957) as the only pitchers in franchise history with back-to-back scoreless starts in the postseason.
"His changeup was really good. I thought the ball was coming out of his hand really good too, so they didn't have really good swings at him. There's a lot to worry about with this kid when he's facing you."
Anderson was strong out of the gate, striking out two batters in each of the first three frames. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed the Marlins to reach second base only twice all day, and kept them there.
Ian Anderson is C-L-U-T-C-H with 8 K's in another scoreless postseason start. pic.twitter.com/mq8FRP8N9D— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 7, 2020
"The guys back behind the plate are a huge part of it. Tyler (Flowers) and Travis (d'Arnaud) do such a good job of keeping you in the moment and not trying to overdo things or anything like that," Anderson told reporters. "Trusting the guys behind you as well, that's a huge thing. We have one of the better defenses in the league, I would say. Knowing that the guys behind you are going to make the play, whether they're 0-for-3 or 3-for-3, is always a nice thing to have in your head. That kind of makes it a lot easier for you out on the mound."
Facing Cincinnati in the Wild Card Series, Anderson struck out nine while tossing six two-hit frames. Against the Marlins, he became the third Braves pitcher with at least eight strikeouts in consecutive postseason appearances -- Steve Avery did it in back-to-back starts in 1991 and John Smoltz did it in three straight from 1996-97.
Anderson also became the first pitcher under the age of 23 to turn in multiple scoreless outings lasting five or more innings in the postseason since
"I see it every day. I see it every day when we show up to the field, even on his off days. He's always locked in, paying attention to every hitter, how he thinks he would get him out. Does his homework," d'Arnaud said. "He's always been like that since I've seen him up here."
Snitker pulled Anderson after the 2016 first-round pick struck out Jesus Aguilar to end a 10-pitch at-bat with a runner at first in the sixth.
"I kind of felt he emptied his tank," the skipper said. "That was a tough, tough at-bat by Aguilar that he had. He did a great job. He just kind of stays in the moment, goes pitch by pitch, wins the at-bat, wins the inning and just keeps pitching. The game doesn't unravel on him. He keeps the thing at a good pace and his clock is really good.
"How he holds the ball with guys who can run and steal, he's got the ability to hold, hold, hold and throw a quality pitch. You don't see that in young pitchers. Things start speeding up with guys on, and he has the ability to slow the thing down when it starts getting rough on him."
The Braves bullpen locked down the win as
In other action:
Rays 8, Yankees 4
Kelsie Heneghan is a writer for MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.