MLB

World Series 2021: Snitker defends decision to pull Anderson on historic no-hitter

By Sports Desk October 30, 2021

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker has defended his decision to pull rookie pitcher Ian Anderson after five innings on a no-hitter in their 2-0 World Series Game 3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday.

Anderson tossed down four strikeouts across five no-hit innings before Snitker opted to pull him, rotating his bullpen over the next four inning with A.J. Minter taking over in the sixth inning.

Atlanta were leading 1-0 after Austin Riley's third-inning RBI single, when Snitker pulled Anderson, with Travis d'Arnaud adding an insurance solo home run in the eighth inning to help them to a 2-1 series lead.

The Braves combined for seven no-hit innings, which was the second longest no-hit bid in a World Series game since Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956. 

Right-hander Anderson was just the second rookie to toss at least five no-hit innings in a World Series game but was denied a bid at a no-hitter.

"He'd thrown a lot of pitches at the top half of that lineup," Snitker said during his post-game news conference.

"Getting ready to go back out when he did, I thought in the fourth inning he had to really work to get through that. He had a really good fifth inning. Then I told him, and he was like 'are you sure, are you sure?'. I was like, 'Ian I'm going with my gut'."

Anderson admitted he wanted to continue but understood Snitker's decision, praising the Braves' bull pen.

"You want the chance to compete especially on the biggest stage like this is," Anderson said.

"I knew he wasn’t going to budge. It's hard to, you've got guys like [Tyler] Matzek, Minter and Luke [Jackson] and Will [Smith] at the back end coming in. You can't blame him for going to those guys."

Matzek, who allowed the first hit in the eighth inning, revealed that neither Minter or Jackson realised they were bidding for a no-no.

"Luke Jackson didn't know. Minter didn't know," he said. "After I got through my inning, they went up said and 'hey did you know you gave up the first hit' and I said 'yeah I did know, I paid attention'. They were like 'oh, I just wanted to come in and get out'.

"Our job stayed the same. It's to go out there and get the three outs in your assignment and get off the field and let the next guy do his job. We're just focused on doing that and it worked out."

The two hits conceded were the fewest ever conceded in a World Series game by a team that used five pitchers.

Astros manager Dusty Baker backed his side to respond after being shut out in Game 3, ending with only two hits for the game.

"Nobody can hit all the time," Baker said. "The more those guys get out, the more they're one at-bat away from a hot streak. That's how hitters think."

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