11:04 PM ET
ESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”
ARLINGTON, Texas — Atlanta Braves left-hander A.J. Minter made history with his first career start on Friday in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. Then he made it again with his performance.
After becoming the first Major League Baseball pitcher to make his starting debut in a postseason game, Minter struck out seven Los Angeles Dodgers over three innings, the most ever in a playoff outing of three or fewer innings, starter or reliever.
Minter, who was not announced as the Braves’ starter until Friday morning, was a lockdown reliever for the Braves this season but had not lasted more than 1⅔ innings or 36 pitches in an outing. He left Game 5 having allowed one hit, no walks and no runs over 42 pitches.
The Dodgers won 7-3 to force Game 6 .
“To be honest with you, yeah, I did surprise myself a little bit,” Minter said. “Coming in the game, I wanted to set the tone. I wanted to attack one inning at a time and not