A “gut” decision to pull starting pitcher Ian Anderson after five no-hit innings paid off, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker said, after his team’s dominant 2-0 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.
The 23-year-old had four strikeouts through the first five innings to the delight of the Atlanta crowd, as it hosted a World Series game for the first time in more than two decades and faced the tantalizing prospect of a potential no-hitter.
Anderson had given his manager little cause for complaint, putting up the second-longest no-hit bid by a rookie in a World Series game, but Snitker nonetheless turned to the bullpen to start the sixth inning, a decision he later credited to his intuition.
“He’d thrown a lot of pitches in the top half of that lineup,” Snitker said in a post-game press conference. “I thought the fourth inning he really had to work to get through that. He had a really good fifth inning.
“And I told him, because he was like, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure?’ But I was just like, ‘Ian, I’m going with my gut right here.'”
Atlanta fell short of a no-hitter, as the Astros were held to two hits, but the gut call paid off and the Braves ended the evening with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.
“You want the chance to compete, especially on the biggest stage like this is,” said Anderson. “I knew he wasn’t going to budge – it’s hard to … you can’t blame him for going to those guys. Those guys time in and time out get it done.
“And you know they did it again tonight.”
Game Four of the World Series is set for Saturday in Atlanta.