Much has been made about the makeup of the Atlanta Braves' rotation heading into the 2023 season, with a particular focus on the backend. After yesterday's news of Kolby Allard's injury, the spotlight is even brighter on Ian Anderson to lock up one of the backend spots. Anderson was shaky in spots but showed some promise in his 3.2 innings of work.
The game started auspicously enough as Anderson hit the first batter, before getting Brendon Lowe to fly out before inducing an inning ending double play. The second inning was where Anderson's typical bugaboos came back to haunt him. The big right hander walked two in the inning with the first coming around to score thanks to a single from former Brave Dansby Swanson, I mean Charlie Culberson. On the day, Anderson walked three Rays to go along with the hit batsman and wasn't able to complete four innings in 58 pitches.
There was some good however, as Anderson struck out two batters and was able to make some pitches when he needed. It's good to keep in mind that Andreson is working on incorporating a slider to go along with his curveball. If he's able to add that to his mix, along with this other-worldly changeup he could be in line for a return to form.
The pen was fantastic, only allowing one run across the remaining 5.1 innings, highlighted by outings from Dylan Lee and Nick Anderson. Anderson was particularly impressive, striking out two in a perfect inning of work. The only blemish was an eighth inning bomb off Victor Vodnik. Matt Swarmer nailed the game down striking out the side to end the game.
Offensively, the Braves scattered seven hits across the game, with only two of those going for extra bases. Travis D'Arnaud continues to produce, hitting .375 this Spring, doubling in one of his two at bats on the day. The Braves did their only damage late in the game. In the seventh, Magneuris Sierra singled home the Braves first run home before Vaughn Grissom put the Braves ahead with a fielder's choice. Outfielder Cody Milligan tacked on the Brave's final run in the eight with a double giving the Braves what would be a needed cushion. The Braves are in action tomorrow aftertnoon with Charlie Morton on the bump.