The 2019 Max Fried Experience had its first hiccup and the Braves fell back below .500 as the Rockies doubled up Atlanta.
The Bravos opened up well, when Ozzie Albies worked an 8 pitch walk to open the bottom of the 1st, and was promptly doubled home by Josh Donaldson. Freddie Freeman moved JD over to third with a grounder to first, but Ronald Acuna Jr couldn’t bring him home with a weak grounder to Nolan Arenado. Nick Markakis walked, but with two down Johan Camargo hit what was definitely NOT a weak grounder, but Arenado showed why he has a fistful of Gold Gloves to end the inning.
Things stayed at 1-0 until the 4th. Fried was using more off-speed pitches to the Rockies, much to the disapproval of Jeff Francoeur up in the booth. Despite this he was racking up the strikeouts, eventually finishing with 7 against no walks. But the wheels wobbled in the top of the 4th when Trevor Story and Arenado homered on back to back pitches. Acuna almost made a run saving catch on Story’s dinger that we would’ve been seeing for the next 20 years, but couldn’t keep the ball in his glove as he was balanced on top of the fence.
Atlanta got the equalizer in the bottom of the frame, Nick Markakis doubled to lead off, went to third with one out when Tyler Flowers singled to left, and came in to score when Ender Inciarte dumped a broken bat single to center. Fried struck out on a bunt attempt and Albies grounded out in an at-bat that lasted all of 3.1 seconds (compared to his Avengers:Endgame length game opening walk) to end the threat.
Fried gave up the lead for good though in the sixth, with Story and Arrenado back in the middle of the action. Story led off with a ringing double to rightfield, and Arrenado did the same thing. Daniel Murphy then doubled Arrenado home, 4-2 Rockies. Fried rallied to strike out David Dahl, and Josh Tomlin came on to retire Ian Desmond and Ryan McMahon.
Markakis led off the 6th with a single and was erased on a double play, which was especially painful as Tyler Flowers followed with his second home run of the season to cut the lead to 4-3.
Tomlin served up the 5th Colorado run in the 7th, when he gave a lead off double to Drew Butera and one out later Charlie Blackmon singled him home. Chad Sobotka came in to stop the Story-Arenado Pain Train.
Jesse Biddle came in for the 8th, and showed he really needs some time down at Gwinnett to figure out what’s wrong. Single by Murphy, a Donaldson error, and an infield single to Desmond loaded the bases, and a McMahon single plated two. Jacob Webb relieved Biddle, and Butera sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Mark Reynolds drove in Desmond with a ground out, but Webb got Blackmon to pop out. All in all, that wasn’t a bad performance after Biddle had pooped the bed.