Brian Snitker making a mistake with Max Fried in NLCS

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

If there were ever a time to test Max Fried’s limits, it’s now

The Braves are in a rough spot after their pitching staff was embarrassed in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Suddenly, the Dodgers offense is reinvigorated, scoring 15 runs on Wednesday night after nearly completing a ninth inning comeback on Tuesday.

Atlanta’s bullpen is taxed and their rotation doesn’t look as capable behind Fried and Ian Anderson. Kyle Wright was mostly responsible for LA’s 11-run first inning on Wednesday. Who else can they reasonably turn do outside of a bullpen game?

The Braves need a stopper, someone to — for lack of better terminology — stop the bleeding and clean their wound. Fried is the ace, and an NL Cy Young candidate. He can be just that is Snitker doesn’t treat him like a little leaguer.

Snitker doesn’t want to risk the future for the interim

Snitker’s reasoning for this move is unknown right now, but saving Fried for Game 6 ensures he’ll pitch one of the final two games of the series. However, given how the Dodgers are playing, moving him up to Game 5 would pay dividends in multiple ways.

If the Dodgers do win Game 4, Fried would be able to pitch Game 5 and (hopefully) ensure the team can push Los Angeles to the brink. Should the Braves surprise us all and actually win Game 4 against Clayton Kershaw, then Fried pitching Game 5 puts their best starter on the mound in an attempt to reach the World Series. There’s nothing to lose!

Overall, the more appearances by Fried in the NLCS, the better. The Braves haven’t been to the World Series since 1999. The turn of the century was two decades ago, and evidently Snitker could use a reminder of this fact.

Snitker’s a great manager, but we hope he’s not getting in his way with some classic overthinking.

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