The Braves lost a tough one last night as the Phillies shelled Ian Anderson in what was another forgetful start from the 24-year-old. He’s been shaky all season, and Thursday night was the worst of it. Anderson only got through two innings while giving up seven hits and as many runs. He’s been the weakest part of the rotation this season, but it hasn’t hurt the club as of late.
The Braves won 21 games in June, tying a franchise record. The team is clicking in most areas with occasional hiccups, like Thursday’s throttling, and they’re led by their bulldog of an ace, Max Fried.
Fried boasts a modest 2.58 ERA over 94.1 innings. After losing his first two starts of the season, he is now 7-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 outings since, while the Braves have gone 11-2 in those games. Fried fights tooth and nail every pitch regardless of the situation. He’s consistently one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball yet always seems to get the job done.
However, Fried might be experiencing a sliver of the limelight. He’s currently got the fourth-best odds to take home the NL Cy Young Award. Even more so, he came in ranked fifth in MLB.com’s third poll of the 2022 season, which is voted on by the fans. Fried is getting recognition from the fans and betting outlets, which awesome to see because nobody is more deserving.
Fried has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League over the last three years. He’s a driving force of the clubhouse, and the team feeds off his insane competitive drive. Just think back to Game 6 of the World Series when Michael Brantley stepped on Fried in a gruesome play in the first inning; he would go on to strike out six and allow only four hits in six scoreless innings to keep one of the best offenses in baseball in check. If the Braves hadn’t throttled the Astros by seven runs in that game, it might have gone down as one of the most memorable pitching performances in World Series history.
Fried is more than an ace; he is one of the best pitchers in the game.
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