Braves Notes - October 1

Bill Shanks

RHP Ian Anderson is set to make his postseason debut today, and will be the third youngest pitcher to ever start a playoff game for the Braves at 22 year, 152 days. • LHP Steve Avery started four games at 21 years old in 1991, while RHP Mike Soroka (22 years, 63 days) threw 7.0 innings in Game 3 of the NLDS in St. Louis last season. 

Miami’s Sixto Sánchez (22 years, 64 days) is set to start for the Marlins at Wrigley Field...The last time two pitchers aged 22 years, 152 days or younger started on the same day of the postseason was October 4, 2003, when Florida’s Dontrelle Willis, 21, and San Francisco’s Jerome Williams, 21, faced each other in Game 4 of the NLDS...Prior to that game, it had happend one other time in history; on October 13, 2001 21-year-old Bud Smith started for the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS vs. Arizona while Cleveland’s CC Sabathia, 21, beat Seattle in Game 3 of the ALDS. 

Anderson has six career appearances, all starts, entering his start today...No Braves pitcher has started a postseason game with six or fewer career appearances...The last pitcher to do so for any team was Cleveland’s Ryan Merritt, who went 4.1 innings in Game 5 of the 2016 ALCS against the Yankees...Merritt had four career appearances and one start entering that game. 

CLINCH GAME: The Braves can clinch this series against Cincinnati with a win today, and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2001...They swept Houston in the NLDS that year. • Since that victory in Game 3 of the 2001 NLDS, the Braves have gone 0-7 in clinch games, including 0-2 last season against St. Louis...The Braves owned a 2-1 lead after Game 3 last season, and were beaten in five games. • The Braves have been outscored 52-16 (-36) in these seven games, and have led for a total of five innings over these seven contests. • They led for three innings in Game 4 at St. Louis last season and for two innings in the Wild Card Game in 2012. 

FREEMAN: 1B Freddie Freeman singled home the game-ending run yesterday, driving a 1-2 pitch from Amir Garrett into centerfield to score Cristian Pache. • Freeman went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in last season’s playoffs...He also hit .182 (2- for-11) with runners on base against the Cardinals in the NLDS last season. • Since the beginning of 2015, Freeman leads the major leagues with a .345 (218-for-632) batting average with runners in scoring position (min. 200 games). • Each of Atlanta’s last two wins have come from a Freeman walk-off RBI after he beat the Red Sox, September 25, with a two-run homer in the 11th.