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The Braves did exactly what they needed to do against the defending World Champions, in Games One & Two. In two contests that saw the bats bring victory in the last at-bat of the contest, the pitching staff deserves a large portion of the praises.
Game One, 3-2 Braves
In Game One, Max Fried tossed six strong innings. Postseason Fried held the Dodgers to two runs before handing the ball over to the bullpen. The same bullpen that was touted nationally as Atlanta’s Achilles heel held the Dodgers scoreless through three innings, long enough for Adam Riley to deliver the walkoff RBI.
Game Two, 5-4 Braves
In Game Two, Ian Anderson continued his trend of struggling in the first inning; surrendering two runs after the first two batters. Two runs that newly-beloved Joc Pederson would recoup after sending a 112-mph missile to the top of the dining facility beyond the Right Field wall, known as the Chophouse. The homerun was the third hardest ball hit off of Max Scherzer in the Statcast era.
Ian would only throw three innings, but once again that bullpen showed up to work on Sunday with violence in mind. Seven relievers would work into & out of trouble over the next six innings, minus the two-run Dodger 7th.
The two wins to start this series look like an even taller mountain to climb for Los Angeles now if you look ahead to how this rotation’s next starts line up. Saving Charlie Morton for a Game Three start is now HUGE for the Braves. The Braves most decorated postseason pitcher will get first start in hostile Dodger Stadium. He’s also in line for a Game Seven, should there be one. He would also be available to throw on short rest for a Game Six is Snitker seen fit.
Even though Ian only threw three innings, both his scheduled starts are in the friendly confines of Truist Park. Ultimately best setting him up for success. Game One starter Max Fried will also get another start in this series.
The 2-0 start has the Braves with a computer-based 63% probability of making the World Series & a 32% chance of winning the World Series. Both percentages are the top mark for the four remaining postseason teams.