With Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried struggling on the mound in Game 5, the team’s radio broadcast has a theory as to why that might be.
Fried had a 3.04 ERA in the regular season, but that success did not translate to Dodger Stadium on Thursday night. With a chance to put the 106-win Dodgers away once and for all, Fried gave up five runs and eight hits in just under five innings of work. The outing was very un-Fried like.
So, what went wrong? Well, for one, Fried struggled against the likes of A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor. Yet, the Braves radio broadcast took it a step deeper, suggesting Fried was tipping his pitches thanks to the Dodgers bat boy.
Braves: is Max Fried tipping pitches?
Assuming your starter is tipping pitches when they struggle is always a popular theory, and never really has much backing. Fried really ought to have performed better either way, and tipping pitches isn’t necessarily illegal, either.
Fried failed to come up big in a huge moment, as Brian Snitker put arguably his best pitcher on the mound with a chance to cement the Braves place in the World Series. Instead, Fried did anything but put the Braves in that position, and suddenly Atlanta is staring down the barrel of a blown 3-1 lead to Los Angeles for the second season in a row.
It’s easy to point the finger at the Dodgers, but it’s far more likely that Los Angeles and their expensive payroll full of capable hitters figured Fried out fair and square.