MLB Playoffs: Ranking the Top Five Pitching Duels from Wildcard Week

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of Game One of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on September 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of Game One of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on September 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

#2 Luis Castillo vs. Ian Anderson

With his team facing elimination, Luis Castillo put forth 6.1 innings, allowing one run, and striking out seven. But this game was less about him than his counterpart, 22-year-old Ian Anderson.

Anderson stole the show. He held Cincinnati to two hits and no runs over six innings. Brilliant command of his fastball and changeup resulted in very little hard contact, as well as nine strikeouts.

In the game, the Reds encountered just two opportunities with runners in scoring position. They left four runners on base. The Braves won 5-0, but they didn’t score until the fifth inning, and four of their runs came in the eighth after Anderson left the game.

Anderson thrived in a tight competition, in his first postseason start, and his seventh big league start. His confidence must be off the charts as he awaits an outing against the Marlins in the NLDS.