The Braves will go with a bullpen game tonight as they look to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999, and the first man up will be A.J. Minter.
Atlanta just announced that Minter, who has never served as an opener before, will be on the mound first this evening. It seems that everyone in the bullpen other than Huascar Ynoa and Grant Dayton, who were used heavily in the Game 3 defeat, are available tonight.
Minter experienced a triumphant bounce back season in 2020 after a 2019 that was lost due to a shoulder injury. He appeared in 22 games during the regular season, posting a 0.83 ERA (2.82 FIP, 3.74 xFIP) with strong strikeout and walk rates.
Minter has appeared in five postseason games this month, working 4 1⁄3 innings with strong results. He last appeared in Game 2 of the NLCS; it’s worth noting that in his appearance he came in relief of Darren O’Day in a 7-0 game and promptly surrendered a three-run homer to Corey Seager, but then got Justin Turner and Max Muncy out to end the inning. Minter will likely see that same group of hitters this evening in the first inning along with Mookie Betts.
Game 5 of the NLCS is set for Friday at 9:08 p.m. ET. Get your caffeinated beverage of choice ready.