After a devastating 9-5 loss in Game 5, the series moves back to Houston with the Braves up 3-2. To try and seal the deal, Max Fried will look for redemption after his Game 2 start, while Dusty Baker will ride with rookie Luis Garcia in an attempt to force a Game 7.
28 Starts; 14-7
16 Games (8 Starts); 1-3
30 Games (28 Starts); 11-8
5 Starts; 1-2
Let’s be honest: Max Fried has had a pretty poor postseason. His command hasn’t been there, and he just hasn’t looked like the Max Fried we saw in the last half of the season. But that could all be forgotten if he goes out there tonight and shoves. This is still the same guy who threw two complete game shutouts within the span of six weeks and posted a minuscule 1.74 ERA after the All-Star break.
Luis Garcia is in a similar boat as Max Fried. He has a 7.62 ERA this postseason and has only gone a total of 13 innings in four starts. In Game 3 against Atlanta, he went 3.2 innings, giving up one earned run on three hits and four walks. If Garcia continues to hand out free passes, the Braves will make him pay.
The bullpen had to work overtime on Sunday night after Tucker Davidson could only get six outs. Jesse Chavez helped him out and went 1.2 innings before handing it over to A.J. Minter. Minter struck out the first batter he saw to end the 4th, but when he came back out for the 5th, it all went bad. He gave up two singles and intentionally walked Alex Bregman to load the bases for Martín Maldonado with two outs.
This decision was probably the most questionable of the postseason for Brian Snitker as Bregman had been struggling all series, but Maldonado was also only hitting .095, so it was a reasonable decision to make. Unfortunately, Minter walked him and gave up a two-RBI single to Marwin Gonzalez to put Atlanta down 7-5. Chris Martin came in and cleaned up the mess, but not until the damage was done. With the Braves bats not having success against the Astros relievers, Snitker decided to punt and let Drew Smyly get the last nine outs to give his bullpen some extra rest.
After blowing the lead for Houston in Game 4, the Astros bullpen showed up in Game 5. With the starter Framber Valdez giving up five earned runs in 2.2 innings of work, Dusty Baker had to make the early call to the bullpen to try and keep the score where it was. And that they did. His guys came up big by covering the rest of the game without allowing a run. Hopefully, with the Braves hitters getting some extra looks at their bullpen, the offense can get some good work done against them as they have before.
Eddie Rosario: .259/.305/.435; .740 OPS; 14 HR; 62 RBI; 11 SB
Ozzie Albies: .259/.310/.488; .799 OPS; 30 HR; 106 RBI; 20 SB
Freddie Freeman: .300/.393/.503; .896 OPS; 31 HR; 83 RBI; 8 SB
Austin Riley: .303/.367/.531; .898 OPS; 33 HR; 107 RBI
Jorge Soler: .223/.316/.432; .749 OPS; 27 HR; 70 RBI
Adam Duvall: .228/.281/.491; .772 OPS; 38 HR; 113 RBI; 5 SB
Joc Pederson: .238/.310/.422; .732 OPS; 18 HR; 61 RBI; 2 SB
Travis d’Arnaud: .220/.284/.388; .671 OPS; 7 HR; 26 RBI
Dansby Swanson: .248/.311/.449: .760 OPS; 27 HR; 88 RBI; 9 SB
Guillermo Heredia: .220/.311/.354; .665 OPS; 5 HR; 26 RBI
Ehire Adrianza: .247/.327/.401; .728 OPS; 5 HR; 28 RBI
William Contreras: .215/.303/.399; .701 OPS; 8 HR; 23 RBI
Orlando Arcia: .198/.258/.309; .567 OPS; 2 HR; 14 RBI; SB
Terrance Gore: (AAA) .232/.361/.319; .680 OPS; RBI; 18 SB
Jose Altuve: .278/.350/.489; .839 OPS; 31 HR; 83 RBI; 5 SB
Michael Brantley: .311/.362/.437; .799 OPS; 8 HR; 47 RBI; 1 SB
Carlos Correa: .279/.366/.485; .850 OPS; 26 HR; 92 RBI
Yordan Alvarez: .277/.346/.531; .877 OPS; 33 HR; 104 RBI; 1 SB
Yuli Gurriel: .319/.383/.462; .846 OPS; 15 HR; 81 RBI; 1 SB
Kyle Tucker: .294/.359/.557; .917 OPS; 30 HR; 92 RBI; 14 SB
Alex Bregman: .270/.355/.422; .777 OPS; 12 HR; 55 RBI; 1 SB
Jose Siri: .304/.347/.609; .956 OPS; 4 HR; 9 RBI; 3 SB
Martín Maldonado: .172/.272/.300; .573 OPS; 12 HR; 36 RBI
Jason Castro: .235/.356/.443; .799 OPS; 8 HR; 21 RBI
Aledmys Díaz: .259/.317/.405; .721 OPS; 8 HR; 45 RBI
Chas McCormick: .257/.319/.447; .766 OPS; 14 HR; 50 RBI; 4 SB
Marwin Gonzalez: .199/.275/.304; .579 OPS; 5 HR; 28 RBI; 2 SB
With the designated hitter rule back in place for tonight’s game, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson will both be in the lineup. The only question will be where Snitker puts them in the order. I don’t foresee anything crazy, but with this being a potential clincher, Brian Snitker and his staff may try something new.
For the first time all postseason, Dusty Baker reconfigured his lineup. With Bregman struggling, he moved him down to the 7-hole, moving Carlos Correa to third, and Yuli Gurriel to fifth. Obviously, it was a good decision as they scored nine runs on Sunday night. Jose Siri will most likely get the start in centerfield over Chas McCormick just as he did against Fried in Game 2.
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