The Braves’ Ian Anderson shot after five non-hitting innings; Brian Snitker explains his decision – .

The Braves’ Ian Anderson shot after five non-hitting innings; Brian Snitker explains his decision – .

In the third pivotal World Series game between the Astros and the Braves on Friday night at Truist Park, Atlanta rookie right-hander Ian Anderson pitched five clean innings before being lifted in favor of reliever AJ Minter. At the time, Anderson had a 1-0 lead thanks to Austin Riley’s brace with one out, RBI in the third inning.

Two Braves relievers extended the offer without a hitting to seven innings until a third reliever, Tyler Matzek, gave pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz a single to start the eighth. The Braves added an insurance point on Travis d’Arnaud’s solo circuit and won Game 3 by a score of 2-0. They now lead the series to the best of seven by a 2-1 count.

Anderson overcame a few leadership issues early on and ended up striking four-to-three walks. Of his 76 throws, only 39 went for strikes. While Anderson only scored five swings and missed on the night, he also allowed just three hard-hit balls.

As it turns out, Anderson’s five hitting innings were the fourth ever for a rookie in playoff history:

And here’s an even more exclusive company:

While Anderson has yet to work deep in any of his four playoff starts, he’s managed to keep the points off the board – he’s allowed just three in 17 innings in those playoffs.

Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled Anderson off before he could face tough Houston training for the third time. The temptation to ride Anderson any longer must have been strong, given the heavy load lifted by the Atlanta relievers’ box and the uncertain rotation going forward, as well as the fact that the two teams won’t have another day off before Monday (if the series were to last that long). However, Snitker appeared to have made the decision as soon as Anderson stepped into the dugout after taking out pinched hitter Marwin Gonzalez to finish top of the fifth.

Snitker said he made the decision on “gut instinct” and noted that Anderson’s number of throws made the call easier.

Anderson during the regular season – his campaign at the age of 23 – posted a 3.58 ERA (124 ERA +) with 124 strikeouts and 51 unintentional walks in 128 1/3 innings.


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