Pache picks up first major league hit as Braves crush Phillies

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Friday night’s series opener had all the ingredients of a must-watch game  for baseball fans. It pitted two aces — Max Fried and Aaron Nola against each other — and Braves top prospect, Cristian Pache, was set to finally make his major league debut after being in the starting lineup Wednesday night before it was eventually rained out. However, unless you’re a Braves fan, the matchup didn’t live up to the hype.

Nola, who carried a 2.05 ERA into Friday and was nearly flawless against Atlanta a couple of starts ago, just didn’t have it. He only had four walks coming into the game but walked three over just 2.2 innings. He also gave up six hits, including two home runs to Travis d’Arnaud and Marcell Ozuna. Reggie McClain was able to clean up his mess to end the third, limiting the damage to just four runs, but the Phillies relief core continued to struggle.

A couple of errors by Alec Bohm led to four Braves runs in the fifth. Then Atlanta added three more in the sixth, courtesy of Marcell Ozuna’s second homer of the game, stretching the lead to ten. Meanwhile, Max Fried was his typical flawless self.

The Phillies strung together three dinky hits in the first inning — two just out of the reach of Freddie Freeman, and one that didn’t even make it to the infield dirt — leading to one run. But after that, Fried allowed just two hits over the next four innings before Brian Snitker turned to Huascar Ynoa. There was no reason for Snit to push Fried past  91 pitches with a ten run lead.

Cristian Pache had a bit of a rough draw in his MLB debut, facing Aaron Nola in his first two at-bats. He struck out his first time up and grounded out to third in his second plate appearance. The third time through resulted in another strikeout, but finally, in his fourth at-bat, he picked up a single… even if it barely left the infield.

That would be Pache’s last at-bat of the game.

The Braves bullpen had little trouble shutting the door the rest of the way. Huascar Ynoa continued his solid work over two innings, allowing just one run. Then Luke Jackson and Chris Martin finished the job with two perfect innings, capping off an 11-2 route of their division rival.

Game 2 is tommorrow, as Robbie Erlin will make his second start of the season against Zack Wheeler, who has been fantastic in his first year in Philadelphia, boasting a 3-0 record with a 2.81 ERA.

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