Win, win, win. Max Fried threw 6+ innings of 1 run ball, and the Braves took the series from the Dodgers 2 games to 1.
The Braves scored single runs in 4 different innings without the benefit of a homer. The scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd, when Abraham Almonte doubled home Dansby Swanson. In the 3rd, Freddie Freeman scored on an Ozzie Albies double, and Almonte scored in the 6th on an Ender Inciarte single. An Inciarte sacrifice fly in the 8th scored Guillermo Heredia with an insurance run. Ehire Adrianza added 2 hits for the Braves.
The Braves could solve a lot of their bullpen problems by using it less, and at 87 pitches, Fried was in position to go 7 innings before allowing back to back singles to start that inning. A.J. Minter came in and retired the Dodgers on 3 consecutive pop ups to battle out of the jam, and Chris Martin and Will Smith handled the 8th and 9th, just like we dreamed.
Fried allowed 6 hits, and struck out 4. The Braves issued 0 walks on the day, and Albert Pujols‘s solo homer off Smith was the lone hit allowed by the bullpen. Over the last 2 games, the bullpen allowed only 2 hits in 7 innings, which shows what is possible when you don’t use Jacob Webb, Sean Newcomb, Jesse Biddle, Grant Dayton, Josh Tomlin, Nate Jones, Edgar Santana, Jay Flaa, or Carl Edwards Jr.
The Braves now stand at 28 – 29. If this were 2020, the season would be 3 games away from being complete. It is not 2020, however, and the season is in fact 105 games away from being complete. The next 60 game season within a season is a chance for everyone to make 2021 look a lot more like expected. (Everyone that is, except for Travis d’Arnaud, Marcell Ozuna, and Cristian Pache, but that’s AA’s problem.)