For the first time in a long time, the Atlanta Braves were able to win a postseason series and advance by shutting out the Cincinnati Reds.
It might not be how we envisioned the Atlanta Braves winning their first postseason series since 2001, but they got the job done either way.
Not only that, but they got 8 shutout innings from their bullpen as well. In case you aren’t keeping up, the Braves pitching staff didn’t allow a single run in their two-game sweep over the Reds.
Atlanta’s offense didn’t exactly bring the thunder in this series either scoring just 2 runs in the first 20 innings of this series.
While the pitching for both teams was certainly great in this series, I think when you combine that with the early start times and most likely a lot of glare from a bright sky, that probably had a lot to do with the lack of offense in this series.
But still, you have to give a lot of credit to the pitchers on both sides. And both of these teams relied a lot on the home run this season, and a lot of times that type of offense doesn’t do well in the postseason.
The Reds squandered a lot of scoring opportunities, especially in game one, and the Braves weren’t great either when they had chances to score.
If I had to pick an MVP of this series I think it has to go to Anderson who was brilliant in his first postseason start pitching 6 shutouts innings and only allowing 2 hits with 9 strikeouts.
It’s no surprise that the two guys at the top of the Braves lineup had the two biggest hits in this series. Freddie Freeman with the walk-off hit in game one and Ronald Acuna with the RBI double to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in game two.
Will Smith was someone else who really looked impressive in this series. He had that slider working and looked more like the Will Smith the Braves signed in the offseason.
Now we move on to the NLDS round where Atlanta will face the winner of the Marlins-Cubs series on Tuesday. The Marlins are up one game to none, but that series was postponed on Thursday and will resume on Friday.
What that could potentially mean for the Braves is that Sixto Sanchez and Yu Darvish wouldn’t be available until at least game two of the next series. That’s probably when they would have pitched anyway.
And don’t be surprised if the Braves get the early start time again in the NLDS.
As for the Braves rotation, they’ll have Fried and Anderson ready to go on plenty of rest for games one and two. And then Kyle Wright will likely make his postseason debut in game three.
I have no clue who they would start in a potential game four, so let’s hope for another sweep!