Davidson allowed four runs (two earned) in two-plus innings as Atlanta attempted to win the World Series for the first time since 1995. (Houston ended up forcing a Game 6 on Tuesday by trimming its Series deficit to 3-2.) The left-hander was mostly pitching with a lead after Adam Duvall hit a first-inning grand slam that gave the Braves a 4-0 advantage over the Astros.
“He's another one that he's been through all the levels of all our organization, and we really liked what we saw out of him early in the year before he had his problems," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
After Atlanta gained a 2-1 series lead Friday, the club gave Dylan Lee the Game 4 start on Saturday. Lee had previously tallied four career appearances, two during this postseason. Davidson’s five career appearances make him the more experienced of the two.
Davidson hadn’t pitched in a big league game in 138 days (June 15) -- the longest gap from a pitcher’s last appearance to a Fall Classic outing, surpassing the record Atlanta’s Kyle Wright set in Game 2 (126 days). But he had been throwing between 75-80 pitches during recent simulated games at Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Field.
Davidson posted a 3.60 ERA in four starts before sustaining a left forearm strain that sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season. The southpaw allowed just three earned runs over three starts (17 2/3 innings) against the Mets, Nationals and Phillies from May 18 to June 9. He felt some discomfort while allowing five earned runs over 2 1/3 innings to the Red Sox on June 15.
Atlanta placed Davidson on the 60-day IL in June and brought him back to throw three innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Gwinnett during the club's regular-season finale on Oct. 3. Davidson had since been staying nearby and keeping loose by throwing at the club’s Triple-A ballpark.