The Atlanta Braves looked to continue their winning ways on Tuesday evening. However, Stephen Strasburg and the visiting Washington Nationals had other plans as they beat the Braves 5-4.
Atlanta was fresh off of a 5-2 road trip and found themselves six games over .500. The team was beginning to get into a rhythm and that started to translate on the field.
Max Fried would look to continue his success against a Nationals team that has struggled mightily in 2019. Their offense has been horribly inconsistent and their bullpen a nightmare.
The Atlanta Braves southpaw has shined brightly this season and much of his success has come from being able to keep the ball on the ground. Fried’s ground ball rate sits at a nice 55.7% and more impressively he’s stranded 83.0% of base runners allowed.
Unfortunately, the Braves didn’t find much success against Washington on Tuesday night.
Let’s discuss a few takeaways from a disappointing loss at SunTrust Park.
3. Max Fried Not So Marvelous
The last couple of starts for Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried have not been as good as many would have liked. However, it’s easy to have faith in the starting staff as they have earned the third-best ERA in MLB during the month of May.
Opponents are only hitting .204 against Braves starters in that time frame as well with a WHIP of just 1.09 during the month.
Now, I’m not saying Fried has been terrible because that’s not the case at all. What I am saying is that they aren’t up to the standards we’ve come to expect from the 25-year-old.
Last Wednesday (5/22), Fried finished his start with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 5 K.
That’s still a quality start but what those stats don’t show is that he struggled a bit with fastball command.
Unfortunately, that was the case again on Tuesday evening. The Nationals would rattle off 9 hits against Fried as they seemed to miss an opportunity to get the ball in play.
Max would finish Tuesday night with a line of 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, and 5 K. The Atlanta Braves starter hit 2 batters and even walked in the go-ahead run before being pulled from the game.
Fried struggled to find his fastball command and that allowed for the Nationals to make solid contact on his typically untouchable fastball.
He was notably disappointed by his performance during post-game interviews.
However, he battled in every inning pitched and that’s all Braves fans could ask for. Every pitcher will have games like Max Fried did on Tuesday but he will likely learn from those mistakes and fix it before his next outing.
Fried did manage to pick off 2 base runners during the game as he caught Trey Turner and Brian Dozier off guard. That is the first time that has occurred in Major League Baseball this season. That was also the second time Fried had accomplished that feat.