The Atlanta Braves failed to put away the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS, and it was not manager Brian Snitker’s fault.
Following Game 4, the Atlanta Braves entered familiar territory. They had a 3-1 NLCS lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same exact lead they had last year, which was subsequently blown. If the Braves were to win Game 5, they were making the World Series for the first time since 1999.
Braves fans had to feel great, considering that Max Fried was taking the mound. Instead, it turned into a nightmarish start for Atlanta, and the defending World Series champions showed life during Game 5 and did not look like the team one loss away from elimination.
For once, the Braves fanbase can not blame manager Brian Snitker for a loss.
Max Fried’s nightmare start costs Braves the chance to clinch NL pennant
Fried was coming off full rest entering the win and advance game on Thursday night. The left-hander even had a 2-0 lead thanks to a home run by star first baseman Freddie Freeman in the top of the first inning. Then, the bottom of the second inning happened.
To start things off, Fried surrendered a solo homer to A.J. Pollock to watch their lead shrink to 2-1. In the next at-bat, the lefty gave up a single to veteran first baseman Albert Pujols. Chris Taylor then stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run bomb to left field to take the lead. Oh, then there was the odd pitch where he plunked Trea Turner after getting distracted by Cody Bellinger on first base.
Fried then surrendered an RBI single to Taylor in the bottom of the third, allowing Los Angeles to extend their lead to 4-2.
Overall, Fried allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work. The left-hander recorded three strikeouts and two walks.
This was simply not the right time for Fried to lay an egg against the Dodgers. As much flak as Snitker gets, he did get the 106-win defending World Series champions one loss away from being sent home for the season.