The Atlanta Braves scored a big win in the opening game of the four-game series with the Washington Nationals. The star of the game, Max Fried, showed the Braves and fans why he should be a lock for the playoff rotation.
The Atlanta Braves jumped on the Nationals early last night when Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman each knocked a run in during the first inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. would tack on another run in the 5th with a solo home run, his 37th of the season. The Braves didn’t need much more offense to hold on to their lead with the way Max Fried was pitching.
Max Fried has been pitching very well since August. Before then, in June and July, Fried had started to struggle, recording an ERA over 5 in both months. Since then, he’s been a different pitcher, his August ERA around 3.50 and striking out almost 2 more batters per 9 innings. It looked like Fried might struggle to make the playoff rotation at the start of summer. Now, Fried looks like a lock.
Last night’s game was about the closest thing a playoff game as you’ll get without actually playing in the playoffs. Max Fried was big in his start. Fried pitched 7 innings, striking out nine and giving up just one hit. It was a stellar performance especially considering how dangerous this Nationals lineup can be. With the playoffs looming, Max Fried has locked himself into the Braves starting rotation.
With the win, the Braves move their NL East lead up to 8 games. Their magic number now sits at 15. Getting the opening win of a series like the one their playing is so important. It’s a tablesetter for how the rest of the weekend can play out. The Braves can maintain the 7 game lead they entered the series having with one more win out of the next three. With two wins, the division is all but wrapped up. The Braves have a good chance to bury the Nationals over the weekend.
Game two will be tonight, same place, same time. A lefty-lefty matchup is on for tonight with Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin facing off. First pitch will be at 7:20. Chop On!!