After the Braves picked up a doubleheader split against the Nationals on Friday, it’s time for the most wonderful time of the week: Fried-day. Max Fried will be taking the bump for another start in what’s been a revelatory season for him as Atlanta plays Washington for the third time this weekend.
During his last outing, he proved that he could at least keep the Braves in a game where he didn’t have his best stuff going. The Red Sox gave Max Fried some trouble earlier this week, and “trouble” for Fried at this point means that he actually gave up more than one run in a start. With that being said, it was still a very decent five innings of work from Fried and at this point, the Braves will absolutely take a performance like that from whoever they choose to give the ball to for the first part of the game.
Tonight, Fried will get a chance to complete his tour of the NL East by getting his first crack at the Nationals since last season. The Braves have won every game that Max Fried has started this season, and that includes the four games that Atlanta has played against their divisional rivals. Obviously, we’re hoping that Fried can run that streak up to five games in the division and nine games, overall and that also he can either repeat or better his last performance against the Nationals in Cobb County. In that start on September 5, Fried threw seven strong innings and allowed only one hit while striking out nine batters. That includes striking out Trea Turner twice. I’m sure that we’d all be jumping for joy if Fried could have the same level of success against the current linchpin of Washington’s lineup.
Once it’s Washington’s turn to pitch, they will be sending Erick Fedde to the mound. The Braves were actually scheduled to face him last month, but the game got rained out and was eventually made up yesterday. There will be no such postponement this evening, so the Braves will be getting a crack at Fedde tonight. They could be catching him at a good time — the only good thing that you can say about Fedde’s last two outings is that he ate up at least five innings in both of them. Philadelphia did plenty of damage to his stat line while he was out there, though. He’s given up ten runs over his past two starts and the runs have been pretty evenly spread — he gave up four against the Phillies in the first start in Washington and then they lit him up for six runs in the return match at Philadelphia.
While this could be a case of the Phillies just doing well against Fedde, clearly we would like to see the Brave pick up the battering ram where Philadelphia left it and continue to pour on the punishment. Atlanta’s offense is currently clicking, as the bats have been sending balls flying all over the place throughout this week. You know things are going well when Freddie Freeman finally hit a grand slam. This is baseball, so a power trip can be snuffed out in the blink of an eye by a pitcher who happens to have a good day. If the currently unstoppable force known as the Braves lineup ends up running into a suddenly-immovable object in the form of Erick Fedde, it’ll be just a little disappointing when you consider how both parties have been looking in recent times.
The formula for a win tonight is pretty simple: If Max Fried can continue to pitch at the high level that he’s established for himself this season and the Braves can keep on mashing, this should be a good night for the NL East leaders. With that being said, the Nationals have already proven that they’re capable of wrecking Atlanta’s plans for victory. There’s never really a dull moment when these two teams get together, and tonight shouldn’t be too different.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, September 5, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Fox Sports South, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network