Braves Game Thread: Game 2 Wildcard vs. Reds

On paper, today’s pitching matchup, Ian Anderson vs. Luis Castillo, favors the Braves as Castillo’s season ERA is 3.21 compared to Ian’s 1.95. Obviously, this is all dependent on what Braves team shows up today…the one that can hit a fastball or the one we saw yesterday. Castillo’s 2 fastballs sit in the upper 90’s and make up 50% of his arsenal. He also utilizes 2 offspeed pitches (slider/change) that each have a MPH separation of 10. All of his pitches are grading out as plus in 2020.

Fun little inside scoop, but the Braves were rumored to be in heavy talks with the Reds for Castillo a week before the deadline (I don’t have many sources, but this was a good lead and I trust it), however the Reds got hot right before the trade deadline and decided to buy rather than sell. Something to dream on for the offseason.

Braves/Reds Game 1 Breaks a Few Records

The Braves struck out a lot yesterday. Some would say a “shit ton”. 21 times to be exact. However, the Reds were hot on their trail as they also ended with 16. This broke a postseason record for most strikeouts in a game, previously held by the Giants and Nats (34 combined).

Before Freddie Freeman won the game in the 13th, another record had already been destroyed and claimed by the Reds and Braves. Never in postseason history had a game went to the 13th inning scoreless. Baseball is weird. If it was on your bingo card that the best hitting team in the Majors would help set a record for most scoreless innings in a postseason baseball game, liquify all your assets, go to Vegas, and put it all on black.

Braves Lineup

Just go ahead and get if over with , boys. We need a break.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

151 thoughts on “Braves Game Thread: Game 2 Wildcard vs. Reds”

  1. The last time there was a walk of hit against the Reds in the postseason was the famous Pudge Fisk homer in game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

  2. Duval could be the key to our offense today. He walked away from his last strike out yesterday visibly upset, saying Wow repeatedly. He knows what he must do today.

    Maztek striking out the side with the bases loaded was magnificent.

  3. As someone that has often criticized the bullpen decisions of Snit, I must say he came through big time yesterday. Let’s hope this trend continues for a few more weeks full of good decisions!

  4. Pleased am I to say that my prediction was wrong. Last time we faced the Reds in a playoff series, we swept them. Let’s do it again.

  5. Summary of DOOMCON:

    DOOMCON1: The season is over. When deployed: Something bad happens.
    DOOMCON2: It doesn’t look good. When deployed: Not in use.
    DOOMCON3: Realistic assessment: When deployed: Not in use.
    DOOMCON4: All is well. When deployed: The Braves win a game.
    DOOMCON5: Over-optimism. When deployed: Not in use.

  6. I know it’s much easier said than done, but with a young pitcher on the mound against a veteran on the other side, it’s so incredibly important for the bats to get going early. If we can scratch a few runs across early, then I think we coast to the series win.

  7. According to baseballsavant data, in his very limited 2020 sample, Ian Anderson was top-10 in tons of pitching metrics. However, it has him in the 9th and 7th percentile in spin rate for fastball and curveballs, respectively. I wonder if he would benefit from a little of Trevor Bauer’s “secret sauce” to improve grip?

  8. Luis Castillo is one of the better pitchers in the National League, so I think the presumptive advantage goes to him.

    But as I dug into their numbers, I thought it was fascinating how similar they are. For example: Castillo’s FIP in 2020 was 2.65, while Anderson’s was 2.54, and they had identical FIP- of 58.

    Additionally:

    K/9
    Castillo: 11.44
    Anderson: 11.41
    League-average: 9.07

    BB/9
    Castillo: 3.09
    Anderson: 3.90
    League-average: 3.54

    Average FB velo
    Castillo: 97.5
    Anderson: 94.1

    Swinging Strike %
    Castillo: 15.4%
    Anderson: 11.9%
    League-average: 11.3%

    Hard-Hit%
    Castillo: 37.1%
    Anderson: 32.1%

    So, apart from track record, Castillo is probably the better pitcher overall — he throws harder, misses more bats, and walks fewer men. However, Anderson gives up less hard contact. That could be a sample size issue, but it also could be a factor of the fact that his best pitch is his changeup while Castillo’s best pitch is his fastball.

  9. Didn’t score, but we at least looked like we knew what we were doing at the plate. Hopefully that bodes well.

  10. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they drafted Anderson and he looks great. But that ESPN anecdote about the discussion by shot callers in the Braves draft room including talk about “not being able to afford” top free agent pitchers is just maddening.

  11. @23 – Any aisle, yes. But apparently not any shelf in that aisle. We getting those value cereal bags from the bottom shelf.

  12. So Gameday suggests that strike one to Ozzie was roughly on top of his knee. Did it look better on TV?

  13. Anderson not yet at his best. Walking Freddy Galvis on 4 pitches to load the bases was awful. Pull it together, you’re better than this.

    Meanwhile our hitters still in meek mode.

  14. OK…what has happened to the offense? I get the Boston series, but this is the playoffs. Score 348 runs in 60 games and now have 1 in 16 innings? Come on!

    This is the same damn story, book 2 of yesterday.

  15. Pretty sure Acuna, albies and riley are going through some undisclosed injuries.
    Duvall is just broken.
    Ozuna can’t lay off sliders in the opposite batters box.
    Dansby is streaky. D’arnaud as well.
    Markakis hits EVERYTHING on the ground (except foul balls).
    Freddie is solid.

    Anderson is getting squeezed. It has cost him quite a few extra pitches.
    Galvis hits one off first base.of course.

  16. Alright, got 5 fantastic innings out of Ian. Bullpen is ready to take over from here and close it out at the first sign of trouble .

  17. Yeah, hugs and high fives all around, AL.

    Kinda surprised they left castillo in.

    Damn, will smith coming in? They are pushing their luck.

  18. A couple thoughts on some earlier posts:
    Anderson was drafted by Coppy in 2016. Remember, the team gets to spend its revenue, which we didn’t have that year, because the team sucked. AA made the, “shop in any aisle,” comment a couple years later. Things change.
    Second, while Anderson throws ridiculously low-spin pitches, this is a good thing! As a result of being an outlier, his stuff plays different than anybody else’s. As a pitcher it’s ok to be at the very high or very low segment of the spin curve but not the middle.

  19. Way to go, Ian.

    He sure looks like the real deal now.

    #49
    He’s lived in ATL for a long time, actually. He’s a sports fan — in fact, in the ’70s (when he was the biggest rock star in the world) he bought the British soccer club he grew up supporting.

  20. Ummm, WTF is wrong with Adam Duvall? He sure picked a bad time to get total amnesia about how hitting works.

  21. You said it, Carl. Duvall is just lost at the plate. Sims wasn’t throwing strikes yesterday or today and he just whiffed again. Ugh.

  22. @63, Yeah, I didn’t know he lived in ATL either.

    Man, Duvall is hot garbage right now. Good thing he threw that runner out yesterday for at least some positive contribution.

  23. On Elton, he still has a place in Buckhead I believe, but used to have a house in Roswell near where I grew up. When Mick Jagger was filming Freejack in Atlanta back in the 90’s, Elton let him stay at his house and a buddy of mine ran into Jagger at a Stop and Go. Apparently he needed some smokes.

  24. If the braves hang on and win this, at least we don’t have to worry that the long time off is going to cool off the offense.

  25. For those of us watching on MLB Gamefay, I was gonna ask how The Fresh Prince looked but, I think Ububbu took care of that.

  26. Maybe the Braves (and the Reds) aren’t seeing the ball well at the plate … but these umps sure are generous with the strike calls. Maybe nobody can see the ball coming in?

  27. I won’t complain about the bad calls to Ronald there because the ump missed a strike 3 just before Ronald hit the rbi double.

    It seems Lucas Sims has a grudge against the braves.

  28. Isn’t Riley’s injury quad tightness, not hamstring trouble?

    Also, I don’t think ARod’s correct about no team having scored fewer than 3 runs in a postseason series – the 1966 Dodgers scored 2 in a four-game sweep by the Orioles. New York wasn’t involved, though, so I can understand why he wouldn’t know about it.

    Interesting that Markakis’s only two hits have led to the only two runs in the series, but he hasn’t scored either of them. His pinch-runner scored yesterday, and Riley’s fielder’s choice put Markakis out and Riley on before Acuna’s double.

  29. @87 Not to defend Arod, but I think it was said that no team has ever lost a series while allowing 3 (or fewer runs).
    Obviously, this year is a special case since the series are two out of three. Still would be something to win both games 1-0.

    Get ready for the Melancon experience, guys! Fingers crossed.

    Ozunaaaaaaaaa!

    Reds set a record as well for offensive futility; 21 scoreless innings. Previous record was 20 set in 1920.

  30. #87
    Some assistant is feeding him that info.

    BTW, that ’66 series & this “series” could end with a pair of 1-0 games.

    I mean, 21 scoreless innings is pretty great, but the O’s finished off that LA series with 33 consecutive scoreless innings.

    EDIT: Ka-boom!

  31. @91: It’s not even correct, because Wild Card games are 1 game series, and the Yankees lost with 3 in 2015 and the Cubs lost giving up 2 in 2018.

  32. @99 I guess that’s right.
    I hadn’t considered the wild card game a “series” . Maybe they didn’t either.
    They have given a lot of wrong data and “facts” on these broadcasts, though, lol.

    Anyway reds have now given up 4, so moot point.

    I can feel confident in Melancon now, right?

  33. Duvall ran into one!
    Blind squirrel, nut, etc.

    Guys just needed some breathing room to relax and start hitting

    Oh no, Melancon in a non save situation. Closers can’t handle that, yadda yadda.

  34. We finally got a truly big hit.

    And just like that ….. here comes Duvall!

    And both Ozuna and Duvall looked SO bad both of these games.

  35. I know a lot of us who were on the Donaldson-train last winter are legitimately eating a lot of crow right now, but Ozuna was fabulous in the playoffs against us and has now come through in the playoffs for us. Doesn’t that merit some consideration for re-signing him even if it’s just to be our long term DH?

  36. @117: It comes down to money though. He’s certainly going to have some suitors who are going to write bigger checks than Atlanta.

  37. @117 – I’d totally love to have Ozuna back but it will be cost prohibitive and we don’t yet know if DH rules will follow into next year. I would not pay him “all the money” just to play left field.

  38. Hah, thought Melancon had messed up the shutout on that final out.

    Celebrate and relax for a few days, gents. We deserve it.

  39. So the streak is broken, although I must point out that this was a series that in a normal year doesn’t exist.

    But I’ll take it.

    Everybody who took the under on 1 Cincinnati run in the series should come out of the closet and tell us.

  40. New poll:

    1) Buying an Ian Anderson jersey
    2) Naming next child after Ian Anderson
    3) Getting visible Ian Anderson tattoo
    4) Getting under-clothing Ian Anderson tattoo

  41. Wow… what a job by the pitching staff and hopefully the bats woke up for the next series. Feels like the old days again…

  42. @134 – I hesitate to say none of the above because it may be all of the above. That said, if I get a tattoo it may be Acuna excited after Ozuna’s HR. Loved it!

  43. Coming back to earth how can Lucas Sims pitch so effectively now? Shortened delivery, keeps it simple? Is that on the Lifeline syllabus?

  44. @146 he credits the Reds coaches. Clearly, some guys truly do need a change of scenery to unlock their potential.

    Of course, the Braves were trying him as a starter and now he’s a middle reliever, so the expectations were dialed back considerably.

  45. All the Braves needed to do in order to exorcise their demons was play a mediocre .500 team. Looks like we drew the weak side of the bracket so I hope we can keep the momentum going for a while.

  46. @147, EOF said something on DOB’s podcast along the lines of, sometimes it’s the messenger, and not the message, i.e. someone in the Reds org was better able to reach Sims than in Atlanta.

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