Ian Anderson will take the mound Wednesday for the Atlanta Braves as they look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series against the Miami Marlins. Atlanta came back from a 4-1 deficit in Game 1 to win 9-5.
Anderson has been a boon for the Braves ever since his debut on August 26. He made six regular season starts and was impressive posting a 1.95 ERA while striking out 41 batters in 32 1/3 innings. Given Atlanta’s rotation struggles this season, Anderson’s arrival helped solidify the unit and allowed the Braves to close out the regular season strong.
Anderson did not have any issues carrying his regular season success into the postseason as he allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings in the Braves’ series clinching win over the Reds in the Wild Card round. Anderson struck out nine and walked two.
Miami will counter with right-hander Pablo Lopez who will be making his first career postseason start. Lopez made three regular season starts against the Braves with vastly different results. He faced them on August 14 and allowed seven hits and two runs over six innings in a Marlins win. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings on September ninth allowing four hits and seven runs to go along with four walks. That of course was the record-breaking 29-9 rout. Lopez faced Atlanta again in his final regular season start on September 24 and pitched well allowing two hits over five scoreless.
Lopez has a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90s to go along with a good changeup, a cutter and curveball that he uses to varying degrees. He thrives on limiting hard contact. Travis d’Arnaud is 3-for-7 with a pair of homers against Lopez while Ronald Acuña Jr. is 5-for-14 with two homers as well.
Speaking of Acuña, he became the youngest player in MLB history to leadoff a postseason game with a homer in Tuesday’s Game 1 win. The Marlins of course followed that up by plunking Acuña in the third inning to add more fuel to a fire that has been burning since his debut in 2018. The incident appeared to wake up Atlanta’s offense and the Marlins did their best to downplay it after the game but it is a storyline to keep an eye on as this series continues.
First pitch from Minute Maid is scheduled for 2:08 p.m. ET and can be seen on MLB Network.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, October 7, 2:08 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: MLB Network
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network