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Ian Anderson still trying to find rhythm after shortened spring

Anderson failed to make it out of the third inning Sunday after allowing five runs.

Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

After struggling with a blister on his toe at the end of Spring Training, Ian Anderson failed to make it out of the third inning in his season debut Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds. Anderson allowed three hits, five walks and five runs in just 2 2/3 innings. The Braves would go on to lose 6-3 and settled for a series split to begin the season.

“Probably all of it. I felt like I was battling myself all day,” Anderson answered when asked what about his start bothered him the most. “I was able to get out of a couple of jams early on. The pitch count kind of caught up with me in the third.”

A shortened spring was always going to be a challenge for most pitchers and Anderson had his last start cut short due to the blister. He logged a total of eight innings and Brian Snitker said it was just something that the team is going to have to deal with until he gets fully stretched out.

“I think he’s going to need a start or two more before the rhythm, the whole thing comes,” Snitker said of Anderson. “It didn’t help that he had the short outing last time. He’s going to get his rhythm and all that and when he does that, his command will be better.”

Anderson said that the blister was healed and that it wasn’t a problem. He did however admit that subconsciously, it may have affected his delivery.

“The toe feels good. A couple of guys said that maybe subconsciously my delivery might have looked a little different, but it feels good, the skin is healthy,” Anderson said. “So I don’t see it being a problem.”

Anderson struggled to control his fastball, but his velocity was down as well. His four-seam averaged 93.2 mph Sunday, down from 94.6 mph that he averaged last season. Again, he attributed that to a lack of innings during the spring.

“I feel like I’m still trying to get everything together, get my delivery together and really get going,” Anderson said. “I felt like in the first inning, it was coming out good. So hopefully, that’s something we can build on for them for the next start.”

“I thought I threw some really good changeups that they didn’t bite on,” He added. “I had pretty good fortune on the breaking ball. Got a good amount of swings and misses. The fastball command wasn’t good I don’t think. Maybe just trying to do a little too much with it with two strikes. I think that’s just a product, only having six or seven innings till this point.”

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