Game 2 between the Astros and Braves felt like a real chance for the Braves to take a commanding lead, and even though a 1-1 split on the road isn’t the worst thing, it felt like Atlanta really needed to capitalize on this game with Charlie Morton ruled out for the season. That didn’t happen, and Max Fried struggled early and often.
Fries had a majors-leading 1.74 ERA after the All-Star break and was 8-0 with a stunning 1.46 ERA in 13 starts from the beginning of August through his first two postseason starts. But in his past two starts, he’s 0-2 with a 10.24 ERA. https://t.co/EQISceP6PC
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 28, 2021
Fried has retired 10 straight going back to the four-run second. His stuff has been good all night. Astros have whiffed on seven of 14 swings vs. curveball and on six of 12 swings vs. slider. 15 balls in play have an avg. exit velo of 85.8 mph w/ a 102.3 mph max.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 28, 2021
The box score won’t tell the whole story. After an ugly start, Fried settled down and began working. He managed to make it five innings when it looked like he may not even escape the second. After giving up four runs in the second inning, Fried didn’t give up another hit until the sixth. Fried struck out five of the remaining eleven batters he faced, showing some incredible resiliency. Max also got pretty unlucky, historically unlucky, actually.
No pitcher had given up more than four hits in any game this postseason with exit velocities less than 95 MPH and Max Fried just gave up four of them in a row. 😐
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) October 28, 2021
There was a 1.26% chance of those four batted balls all resulting in singles, according to xBA
— Daniel (@bravesdaniel) October 28, 2021
I still believe in Max Fried. He has had a few mechanical quirks during this postseason, but I fully expect him to dominate when he gets another chance. That’s just who he is. With injury striking at the worst time, the Braves need him now more than ever.