Perhaps this Ian Anderson will do. Ian struggled incredibly for about a month and a half. From May 22 to June 30th, Ian had a 6.69 ERA in 8 starts. That ain’t going to get it done. To his credit, his 4.50 FIP looks much better.

Ian Anderson, very similar to Will Smith, is going to get a huge pass because of last season’s postseason performances. Ian’s 1.59 ERA in 4 October starts last year is simply going to get him a long leash.

Last night’s start is obviously a step in the right direction, but I’m really worried about Ian. It took him 99 pitches to get through 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and one walk. He could only get 3 strikeouts in 5 innings. His stuff is just not good enough right now to be a consistently reliable option, and a start like last night is about all that I’m hoping for from him right now. I’m sure they’ll want to ease Spencer Strider’s innings total, so if and when Mike Soroka comes back, that might not create the log jam in the rotation that 6 pitchers for 5 spots could create for Ian, the worst performer in the last 2 months.

But now the positive: this offense, even without Ozzie Albies, is a force. The Braves put up a 5-spot in the first, another 2 in the 4th, though they went into hibernation mode from there. But even with LF, DH, and 2B being disappointments more often than not, the top of the order and William Contreras are really carrying the offense

Tyler Matzek has returned. He pitched a scoreless inning, and provided this dazzling play:

Jackson Stephens, who got buried in the bullpen throughout the second half of June, pitched the 9th.

Team’s loaded. If we actually added anything other than a power righty in the pen or a lefty platoon bat at the deadline, I don’t know where they’d stick that player. There’s no room in the lineup, and there’s no room in the rotation. Great problems.