The Braves postseason experience is not off to a good start. After a bit of a layoff, Atlanta looked rusty, whether Brian Snitker will admit it or not.
The day Braves are back, and at the worst possible time.
Atlanta had its horse on the mound in Game 1 — a very clear pitching advantage for them given Max Fried was coming off full rest. Yet, Fried struggled, as did the offense, which left a combined 19 men on base.
Blaming anyone after a Game 1 is a little premature, but stick with us here — Atlanta had the entire weekend to prepare for this series. Why, then, did they look flat? Let’s check the tape.
Braves most to blame: Max Fried
At the end of the day, Fried is the easiest person to point the finger at here.
Fried survived just over three innings, giving up eight hits and six earned runs in the process. He put the Braves behind the eight-ball in front of a late arriving crowd, which surely did not help the energy level in the Atlanta dugout. It’s tough to blame fans, however, given MLB screwed them over with a midday, weekday start to a playoff game. Alas.
Fried has earned this Game 1 start all year, with exceptional numbers. It’s just one big moment, but it could be the start that defines his 2022 season if the team fails to turn things around. Look for Snitker to tread lightly with his ace in his next start, as Atlanta can hardly afford to face this quick of deficit again.