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.”