With a chance to eliminate the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS on Friday and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999, the Braves will turn to left-handed reliever A.J. Minter as their starter, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. He’ll square off against the Dodgers’ Dustin May.
This figures to be a short outing for Minter, who threw 21 2/3 frames in 22 regular-season appearances and recorded more than three outs on only a couple of occasions. The 27-year-old Minter made his appearances count, though, as he logged a meager 0.83 ERA/2.82 FIP with 9.97 K/9, 3.74 BB/9 and a 49.0 percent groundball rate. He’s a key member of a bullpen that finished 2020 with the majors’ fourth-best ERA (3.50), and that unit’s likely to be busy Friday.
Despite questions in a rotation that’s missing Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels because of injuries, the Braves have stormed to a 3-1 lead against the favored Dodgers. Most of the games in the series haven’t been close to this point, including a Thursday matchup in which the Braves and starter Bryse Wilson posted a dominant 10-2 victory.