ARLINGTON, Texas, USA (AP) – Ian Anderson can’t remember the last time the Braves played a seventh game in a postseason series.
And that’s because the 22-year-old rookie right-hander hadn’t been born yet.
Anderson will take the mound with a 15 2/3 scoreless streak early in his postseason run. He will play the decisive game of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers after the Atlanta Braves lost their second straight game on Saturday, 3-1.
The winning team will face Tampa Bay or Houston in the World Series.
This is only the second NL Championship Series that has required a seventh game to settle in the past 15 seasons. And it’s the first time since 2004 that the American League Championship Series has also gone to a seventh game.
If Tony Gonsolin pitches for the Dodgers on Sunday night, it will be the first time a decisive postseason game features two rookie starters. It will also be a rematch of the second game in which Atlanta won 8-7.
The Braves resolved that game in the ninth inning, long after Anderson and Gonsolin had left.
“I think you have to go out there and compete,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t matter if you hit first or if they hit you. You have to find a way to continue in the fight and compete with everything you have ”.
In the first Major League Baseball postseason held in neutral parks in history, Championship Series games are played on straight days, with no days off and travel. The wear seems more typical of a summer day than of the final instances of October.
This means that the aces of the two teams will be mere spectators of the seventh game, after Walker Buehler threw six scoreless innings to beat Max Fried in the sixth game at the home of the Texas Rangers. This same park in Arlington will host the World Series, starting Tuesday.
The Braves are trying to return to the Fall Classic, an instance they haven’t reached since 1999. The Dodgers are in their seventh Championship Series since 2008, the most in the National League.
But they haven’t been major league champions in 32 years.
The last time Atlanta played a seventh game was in the 1996 Championship Series, a 15-0 beating of St. Louis, before losing the World Series to the New York Yankees in six games. Anderson was born about 19 months later.