The Braves made quick work of the Reds, ending their Wild Card round matchup by winning the first two games. Atlanta will now await the result of the Cubs-Marlins series, which Miami currently leads 1-0, for play to begin on Tuesday. Atlanta has yet to allow a run this postseason after blanking Cincinnati in both games, and carries a confident staff into the next round. Max Fried and Ian Anderson were both incredible and Kyle Wright is no doubt anxious to take the ball next week. The series was disconcerting offensively, but things seemed to loosen up after Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall each blasted two-run homers in the eighth inning after struggling previously. Hopefully the loose, powerful, dangerous, version of this Braves lineup shows up for the entirety of the Division Series.
Ian Anderson was unbelievable in this game, pitching six shutout innings with nine strikeouts. The bullpen followed with three shutout innings to slam the door on the Reds and give the Braves their first postseason series win since 2001. The offense struggled yet again, but exploded in the eighth inning against dominant Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias, who had not given up a home run since July. He gave up two within a span of four batters, as Ozuna and Duvall each hit two-run homers to put the game out of reach.
Marcell Ozuna struggled at the plate in this series, but redeemed himself with a mammoth blast to left field in the eighth inning on Thursday. On his way to first base, he stopped for a photo op, as you can see in the video.
As Steve Hummer of the AJC writes, Ian Anderson evoked memories of his predecessors in Atlanta.
That makes him just one of four pitchers in Braves history who worked at least six scoreless in their playoff debut. Two of the others are golden oldies – Bill James (1914) and Johnny Sain (1948). The other is a little more recently familiar – Steve Avery, who was only 21 when he shut out Pittsburgh over 8-1/3 innings in the 1991 National League Championship Series.
The Padres are dangerous with Tatis and Machado in the middle of their lineup.
The A’s ended a similarly long playoff drought to the one that plagued the Braves prior to Thursday.