Wright was demoted to the Braves’ alternate site after four starts this season, and a month ago his E.R.A. was 8.05. He rediscovered his confidence, and his stuff, just in time.
“It was just me putting unnecessary pressure on myself to make the perfect pitch and get the swing and miss,” Wright said. “For me, when I got sent down, it was simplifying everything and attacking the zone. We have one of the best defenses you’re going to see, so just trust my stuff and pitch.”
Anderson, 22, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his debut against the Yankees in August. He did not throw a changeup when the Braves drafted him from Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y., but he learned it in the minors and has made it his best pitch, to go with a fastball and curve. He has reason to be self-assured.
“His first start in the big leagues, he was just sitting at his locker talking to anybody that walked by,” Freeman said. “Most guys have headphones on, not really talking to anybody, trying to get in a zone. You could just tell the maturity Ian had when he first walked into that clubhouse, so what he’s doing in the postseason doesn’t surprise any of us.”
The challenge will be greater in the N.L.C.S. The Dodgers, who swept their division series against the San Diego Padres, will be far more imposing than the Braves’ playoff opponents so far: The Reds and the Marlins both scored fewer runs than the average N.L. teams this season.
But in a postseason of busting narratives and flipping scripts, the Braves will take their chances as a new group chases a spot in the World Series.
“It’s just amazing, since 2001, we’ve finally gotten past this point,” Freeman said. “A lot of these guys don’t know much of the history in that clubhouse, but now we get to start our own.”