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Saturday, October 30, 2021

Why the Atlanta Braves pulled Ian Anderson from no-hit bid

Here it comes, the ultimate analytics move, another egregious attack on the heart of the game. After five no-hit innings in Game 3 of the World Series, manager Brian Snitker walked toward Ian Anderson in the Braves’ dugout and informed his starting pitcher that he was taking him out before he could face the top of the Houston Astros’ order for the third time. Gather ‘round, all you nerd-haters—this one was shaping up to be a classic of the genre.

Except the man who made the decision said it was nearly the exact opposite. Snitker, showing he has zero interest in the human condition’s bottomless desire for drama, trampled on the storyline not because of a spreadsheet but because of a very human feeling in the pit of his stomach. Anderson would not get his no-hitter, and the world would not get its preferred storyline, and there was a simple reason for that: It just didn’t feel right.

“Ian was like, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure?’” Snitker says. “But I was just like, ‘Ian, I’m going with my gut right here. Just my eyes, my gut.’ It would have been real easy to let him go back out.”

Snitker is disarmingly folksy—Nobel-level folksy—and it can serve to take the sting away from his bluntless. “The no-hitter thing,” he said, tossing it out there like he’d just remembered. “He wasn’t going to pitch a nine-inning no-hitter.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 30, 2021 at 09:43 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6050049)
Yeah, he had a no-hitter going, but he wasn't anywhere near dominant. It was only a matter of time before the Astros pieced things together.
   2. winnipegwhip Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6050051)
I am sure if the lead was bigger than one run Another's gut would have had a different feeling. And rightly so. I defer to Herm Edwards on this.
   3. BDC Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6050052)
Braves ended up throwing 133 pitches. No way was Anderson going to throw all 133 anyway, or anywhere close.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:38 AM (#6050054)
Obviously, in the postseason, the possibility of a no-hitter is of minimal importance. I was more taken aback by the fact that Anderson had thrown just 76 pitches. I probably would have given him another inning, knowing that even with a maximum of four games left in the season, you can't afford to empty your bullpen every single night. But it worked out fine for the Braves.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6050056)
this is not the hill I'm willing to die on, over this admittedly annoying overall issue
   6. . Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6050057)
At this point, it's almost like they are ruining the game on purpose.
   7. sanny manguillen Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6050058)
I'm assuming that this is nothing to young pitchers now, because all good prospects have been removed from minor league games before yielding a hit?
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6050064)
It’s funny, because I just read about how great it was that two old-school, non-analytic managers were helming the teams in this year’s World Series.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6050065)
I posted No. 4 before I realized that the Braves are planning on bullpen games for both Games Four and Five. That's all the more reason to try to get a little more length out of your starting pitcher.
   10. villageidiom Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6050066)
At this point, it's almost like they are trying to win.
   11. . Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6050067)
The two guys in Washington Square Park playing checkers are trying to win, too, but I don't really want to watch them play.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6050070)

It does seem crazy to take a starter out of a game where he’s pitching well after only 76 pitches, no hitter or not. Was he really laboring out there or was this just overmanaging?
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6050071)
Was he pitching well?

Anderson was really, really good, but he put together five of the messiest no-hit innings you could imagine. He walked three, hit one, went to a full count to five hitters in five innings, and, on a cold and rainy night, nearly as many of his 76 pitches were balls as strikes. He had gone to full counts twice to Jose Altuve, who was leading off the sixth, and twice to Alex Bregman, who was up third.

   14. It's Spelled With a CFBF, But Not Where You Think Posted: October 30, 2021 at 03:16 PM (#6050089)
Anderson was due up second in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Braves would have gotten one more inning out of him, realistically.
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 30, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6050090)
It’s hard to argue with the results so far. Let’s see how the Braves do in the rest of the series.

It was more frustrating to see Luis Rojas do #### like this with Stroman during the season, with an overtaxed bullpen and an offense that gave you no margin for error.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: October 30, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6050117)
Burt Hooton walked 7 in his no-hitter in 72. Unknown number of pitches, game score of 87 (anybody know no-hitter game scores ... he did K 7 so it's probably not bad).

2-out walk in the first; leadoff in the second; with 1 out in the fourth; leadoff in the fifth; leadoff in the sixth; two 2-out walks in the seventh. It was still just 1-0 after 6.5 then the Cubs scored a couple and he went 6-up, 6-down from there, ending on two Ks. Two of the runners reached second.

And to bring it back to the series, Hooton pitched 3 times in the WS with the Dodgers. He did OK in the 77 postseason, terribly in the 78 postseason, and awesome in the 81 postseason (4-1, 33 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, NLCS MVP).
   17. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 31, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6050320)
At this point, it's almost like they are ruining the game on purpose.

Let's just make relief pitchers illegal, shall we?
   18. and Posted: October 31, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6050324)
I agree Anderson should have gone out for the sixth. I also agree there was no way in hell he was going 9. And he might well have given up runs in the 6th. Given that the Braves are now up 3-1 and the pitching looks good, hard to argue the move. But even in the moment, it was clear Anderson wasn't throwing a no-hitter. Or a complete game. Or a shutout. That was a fluky, lucky five shutout innings. Kiss the rosary and move on.

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