Ian Anderson didn’t give the Braves much of a chance Sunday, and they lost the series finale to the Angels, 9-1, at Truist Park.

The Braves are 58-39. Here are five observations:

1. In a five-run first inning, the Angels batted around versus Anderson. They collected five straight hits as Anderson allowed eight consecutive batters to reach base.

“It’s just sometimes, those innings go like that,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Command wasn’t great, he started searching. It’s hard. That’s a tough place to be in as a pitcher – you’re searching, you’re trying your damnedest, and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t work. Hopefully he just gets through it healthy and regroups and improves in the next one.”

Overall, Anderson surrendered seven runs on eight hits over three innings. He struck out two, walked three and served up a homer.

In June, Anderson gave up four or more runs in four of six starts. But he responded by giving up four total runs over three starts before the All-Star break, though two outings came versus the lowly Nationals.

He hoped to parlay his momentum into a good start to the second half, but it didn’t happen.

“Felt like I really turned the corner, threw a great bullpen,” Anderson said. “I was surprised with how today went, kind of. I felt like I was going to throw the ball great.”

Multiple times, Snitker professed his faith in Anderson.

“We know what he can do,” Snitker said. “None of these guys are finished products. They’re going to go through things they’ve never experienced, and they’re going to have to navigate it and work to make it better.”

Explore‘He’s just searching’: Braves’ superstar Ronald Acuña trying to find his way

2. Last season, Anderson had a 6.38 ERA in 24 first innings.

This year, he owns a 5.21 ERA over 19 first innings.

“When you’re struggling, you think of everything,” Anderson said. “And that’s something I’ve definitely thought about, but I can’t seem to put a finger on it. It’s frustrating. You want to go out there and put on a good performance today.”

Anderson is known for working out of trouble. His first-inning ERA this season could be worse. Given that he has allowed 27 hits and has walked eight batters in first innings this year, it’s impressive that he’s given up only 11 runs.

3. Braves fans have been looking for something, anything that tells them Ronald Acuña is returning to form. Perhaps that came in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In a blowout, Acuña hit a run-scoring single to get the Braves on the board. He has 23 RBIs this season. Of 19 games in July, Acuña has notched an RBI in three.

However, he had a tough defensive day.

In the fourth inning, he committed a throwing error when he fired a ball from right field that sailed wide of third baseman Austin Riley and went out of play, allowing a second run to score on the play. In the first inning, a blooper fell in front of Acuña and a run scored. He charged toward it but didn’t get a good jump as he broke back instead of going forward.

In the eighth inning, while tracking a fly ball toward the right-field wall, Acuña looked to maybe lose the ball for a moment, though he said he simply didn’t get to the wall in time. The ball bounced off the wall and a run scored after he couldn’t find the ball for a couple seconds.

“Defensively, I feel good,” Acuña said through interpreter Franco García.

Asked if his defense has been up to his standards, the outfielder said “yes.”

Asked something similar, Snitker said: “When I think about everything that that kid’s going through, too – the physical issues and coming off the knee surgery and all that – I don’t know. You have to ask him. ...He’s made some good plays, too. The arm’s a weapon. He had an error today, everybody has an error.”

4. Adam Duvall suffered a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He will have season-ending surgery.

The Braves on Sunday morning placed him on the 10-day injured list. In reality, the injury was far worse.

5. Fans are understandably excited about the Braves, who have deserved the incredible turnouts at Truist Park this season.

The Braves’ three-game series versus the Angels drew 128,357 fans, the highest total for any three-game regular-season series since Truist Park opened in 2017.

Of the Braves’ 54 home games, 27 have been sellouts.

Angels 9, Braves 1 (box score)

Stat to know

5.31 – Anderson has a 5.31 ERA this season.


“I’ve got a lot of trust and faith in Ian. He’s learning, he’s maturing. Fighting through these fights that he is is going to make him even stronger and better down the road, is how I feel.” – Snitker on Anderson

Up next

The Braves begin a three-game series in Philadelphia on Monday. Max Fried will face Ranger Suarez in the opener, which starts at 7:05 p.m.