NLCS Game 6: Braves’ Ian Anderson faces Dodgers’ Max Scherzer

Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson delivers a pitch during the first inning of Game 2 of NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com

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Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson delivers a pitch during the first inning of Game 2 of NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com

LOS ANGELES – Ian Anderson has another chance to help pitch the Braves into the World Series.

Anderson will start Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday at Truist Park. The youngster’s opponent: The reigning World Series champs with Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer on the mound.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Anderson said. “We were able to win the first two at home and we played well there all year, so we’re looking forward to getting back to our houses and everything and getting rested up for the game.”

The Braves lead the NLCS 3-2 after taking the first two games at home and the middle of three contests in Los Angeles. They’ll have two chances to do it: Charlie Morton is readying for a Game 7 against Walker Buehler, should it reach that point.

Anderson, of course, hopes it doesn’t. He’ll try to rebound from a disappointing outing in Game 2 when he was removed after three innings. Manager Brian Snitker took him out after acknowledging it “wasn’t going to get any better.” Anderson was charged only two runs, and the Braves ultimately won the game.

Scherzer started opposite of Anderson in that contest, going only 4-1/3 innings after showing the effects of a heavy workload throughout the postseason. Scherzer will have extra rest for Game 6.

“I think we’re going to be just fine,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “We got Ian on the mound. He’s already itching to get going. ... We’re going to be looking forward to getting in front of our home fans. Just really two good teams. It’s going to be a good series just like we thought, coming down to Game 6 and 7.”

The Braves are trying to avoid a repeat of the 2020 NLCS, when they blew a 3-1 lead against the Dodgers and saw L.A. later win its first championship since 1988. Anderson started Game 7, going three innings. An important difference this time around: That series was played at a neutral site in Texas. The Braves will have home-field advantage this time, hosting the remainder of the series at Truist Park.

That won’t ease the nerves of locals, who’ve seen a parade of Georgia-based teams relinquish sizable leads. Anderson said he hopes the 2021 Braves squash that storyline.

“I think it’s something we know about, but it’s something that we’re definitely on a mission to kind of dispel,” Anderson said. “We’re still in a good spot. The vibes are still good and we’re going to hop on a flight, head home, and be ready to play Saturday.”