Coming off of a disappointing walk-off loss, the Atlanta Braves will try to pick up the pieces again Thursday when they wrap up a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves were stung by a two-run walk-off home run from Luke Williams Wednesday, spoiling their latest attempt to climb above the .500 mark. They won’t have long to dwell on the loss with an afternoon game set for Thursday.
Ian Anderson will take the mound for the Braves Thursday and will be trying to find some consistency after some sporadic performances of late. Anderson allowed just one hit in his last start against the Dodgers but walked three and gave up four runs while piling up 98 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. He has been tagged for eight hits and eight runs over his last 8 1/3 innings.
“I think it’s been good for the most part, there’s definitely been some ups and downs, but I still feel confident when I go out there and take the mound,” Anderson said when asked to evaluate his season so far. “I feel like my pitch mix is still good. It’s just refining a few things here and there to kind of replicate those games against the Yankees or games against the Cubs that I had earlier in the year. I don’t feel like I’m far off.”
Like a lot of young pitchers, Anderson’s issues have been mainly tied to his fastball command. With his walk rate hovering right around 10%, those extra base runners are putting a lot of pressure on him and helping drive up his pitch count.
Speaking of pitch counts, Atlanta would do well to try and drive up Zack Wheeler’s Thursday afternoon in an effort to get him out of the game as quickly as possible. Wheeler has been excellent despite a lack of run support from his teammates. Wheeler allowed five hits, two runs and struck out eight over 7 1/3 innings in his last start against the Nationals. He has been a workhorse tossing at least seven innings in seven of his past eight starts. During that span, he has only allowed more than three runs once.
First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, June 10, 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network