Why did the Braves attract Ian Anderson? Rookie manages five games without a hitting against Astros before leaving World Series
| Latest News Headlines | Google News
Ian Anderson has been one of baseball’s toughest pitchers in his last two playoffs, and the Braves rookie was in great shape Friday night.
In Game 3 of the World Series, he was back against the Astros as he didn’t allow a hit in five innings. He walked three and pulled out four.
But the no-hit offer wasn’t enough to keep him in the game. Braves manager Brian Snitker lifted it up for left-hander AJ Minter to start at the top of the sixth, putting the no-no in the hands of his trusted relievers.
Don Larsen’s perfect match of 1956 remains the only complete no-hitter match in World Series history.
MORE: Braves vs Astros Live Score, Updates, Highlights
Why was Anderson taken out if he was throwing so well? Sporting News takes a look.
Number of locations
Anderson might have dealt with it, but with 76 shots by the time of his release, it was clear he wasn’t going to end the game. And while the rookie didn’t allow any hits, he didn’t exactly fill the strike zone as 37 of those 76 shots were mistaken for a ball.
This isn’t the first time Anderson has risen early in the 2021 playoffs. In NLDS Game 3 against the Brewers, he was eliminated after throwing 84 shots in five scoreless innings. After that, he lasted three innings and 55 shots against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS and 66 shots in four innings against Los Angeles in Game 6.
MORE: Why Joc Pederson Wears a Pearl Necklace During Braves Games
Anderson’s outings were not without success. In seven career playoff appearances, he has a 1.47 ERA, including a 2.25 mark in his three starts this year. But the Braves have a lot of faith in their bullpen, especially Minter and his compatriot left-hander Tyler Matzek, to deliver key late innings.
If that had been the bottom line to face Anderson in the sixth, he might have been able to stay in the game. But it was not. It was the pinnacle of the much-vaunted Astros roster, and it would be seeing it for the third time.
Facing Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman would be a daunting task for any pitcher. While Altuve got cold, he scored in Game 2 and is still a dangerous hitter. Brantley burned the ball in the World Series to the tune of 1,000 OPS. Bregman is awaiting his first hit in the playoffs, but he had a .777 OPS in the regular season.
Then there are the numbers associated with Anderson facing a formation for the third time. In 2021, the batters posted a .772 OPS against him the first time in sequence, .520 the second time and .764 the third time.
MORE: Mark Lemke’s 1991 World Series remains the best example of how happily unpredictable October baseball is
And the Astros found great success against pitchers for the third time.
According to Stathead, the Astros posted a regular-season collective of 0.812 OPS when they faced pitchers for the third time in a game. Altuve was stellar as he posted an .856 OPS, while Bregman had a .738 and Brantley posted a .690 OPS, per Stathead.
Breaking News Updates World news Why did the Braves attract Ian Anderson? Rookie manages five games without a hitting against Astros before leaving World Series