The most valuable brave player to lose in the 3–1 NLCS to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who forced Game 7, was a three-run losing pitcher.
Prior to the game, manager Brian Snitker admitted that the hitters would benefit as both teams brought back their Game 1 debut for a second look at these powerful lineups, the top two teams scoring runs during the regular season.
Walker Buehler apparently did not receive the memo. It took him only eight pitches to sit the first three brave batsmen in the order.
After his first eight pitches, Max Fried had put the team in a two-run hole – his fifth of the series and the sixth of the postseason – and Justin Turner, giving back-to-back solo shots to Corey Seeger. Another run walk and a pair hit. After going 3–1 up in the series, the Braves were down 0–3 in a game where a win would send them to their first World Series since 1999.
“Frankly we said that going into Max we needed to step up the game, he needed to pitch,” Snitker said.
The Braves used six pitchers in a Game 5 loss on Friday night. AJ Minters started and went the furthest, throwing three innings in a bullpen game. Between an extended schedule and numerous sacrifices for neutral sites it has been far from normal days in the Postsen Division Series and Championship Series. The depth and talent and current fatigue of a team’s bullpen is one of the most important factors determining a team’s October success. Now, as the team prepares to play for seven games in seven days, the full bullpen starts and the in-game analysis hinges on how many innings are held with each available arm. The regular season may be a relative sprint this year, but the playoff is a slogan that lends flexibility.
Atlanta was counting on Fried, who had seven scoreless innings in the first game of the postseason, to be the ace who bought his bullpen for a day.
“But,” the sneaker said, “there are a lot of those conversations in the morning, and then the game starts and you don’t let anyone hang themselves.”
So with three runs and only one in the game, Snitker called the bullpen down. Jacob Webb started warming up. Balancing the tension between living for today and planning for tomorrow is the key role of a manager in October. He further minimizes the losses incurred. But Snitker held back and Fried took a pair of flies to end the inning. The web sat down.
Fried conceded 14 runs in a 60-match regular season – six in the first innings and eight in all other innings combined.
At that time, Bahadur was still in it. Only three runs to go and make eight innings. For a team with baseball’s highest OPS and all the inspiration in the world, this must be the surmount.
In the bottom of the second they failed to capitalize after not loading the base. This was his last best chance. They failed to score Buehler and scored a run like the Dodgers left the Tent worry-inducing bullpen.
“You have to give credit where credit is a liability and they’ve got really good pitches in there,” Snitker said. “You know you’re bringing people out of the bullpen with a 100 mph sink, it’s tough.”
So no, they did not come back. He did not bail out Fried, who was barely audible on the zoom microphone after the game, seeing that he was not good enough.
And well, technically it is true. But if you remove one comparative aspect – “enough” – Fried was good. Very good, even.
The Dodgers did not score again. Fried beat Bühler, who had beaten him. He eventually hit a career-high of 103 in the seventh inning after throwing a 95 mph seam fastball for the 109th pitch.
Snitker, apparently, was not worried about the pitch count.
“I think your career is high,” Fried said after the game.
“A career of one hundred and forty should be high, not of 107 or 108”, he said about the trend of seeing the century mark as the upper limit and closing the Dad voting block for the manager of the year Mumbling.
But starters no longer throw 140 pitchers. Anyway, two-year-old crook Ian Anderson handed the ball to Snitker to win and would play the house-to-house. 7. His career was high in 104. He scored 106 runs. A double-A game last year, his most in allied ball.
Losing by two runs leads you to a series and loss to the season by 12. But when you have one more game left to make this year’s grind, it helps to create a well-rested bullpen. Does.
Ultimately, all weapons in the world are only as good as the run support they get. The Braves find it better than Sunday if the bullpen was tapped for a long loss on Saturday. They feel good because they like Anderson’s performance in the big spots and because what else are you going to say on the eve of Game 7 that you never wanted to play?
Fried, batting, put his team in a good position and won the next night without him. Now all they have to do is ask.
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