After suffering another excruciating loss Saturday night, the task at hand is simple for the Atlanta Braves. Find a way to win and to stop the bleeding. The Braves have now lost four straight games and their lead in the NL East is down to a single game. Three of those four losses have been by one run with two coming in extra innings. Whether it is a case of the team pressing or just an untimely slump, they are running out of time to get it figured out.
Max Fried will be on the mound for the Braves and Atlanta desperately needs a good outing from him. After a sluggish start, Fried has turned his season around posting a 2.19 ERA and a 2.97 FIP during the second half. Fried allowed four hits, three runs and struck out seven over six innings in his last start against the Marlins. That was just the second time in his previous eight starts where he had allowed more than two earned runs. The other came on August 27 against the Giants where he allowed five hits and four runs (three earned) over six innings.
Of course a good performance by Fried won’t mean much if the Braves are unable to scratch across any runs and that is something that has plagued them of late. Atlanta was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in Saturday’s loss and are just 3-for-16 in the series. Atlanta faced Anthony DeSclafani back on August 29 and tagged him for six hits and three runs over three innings in his return from the injured list. He has been solid over his next three outings since then allowing a combined 12 hits and four runs over 17 innings.
Freddie Freeman is hitting .333 with two homers in 17 career plate appearances against DeSclafani. Joc Pederson has been even better hitting .438 with four homers. Still, this is an offense that needs to do a better job executing with men on base. Whether that is a change in approach or something else, the Braves have to find a way to jumpstart this offense.
Sunday’s game is scheduled to get underway at 4:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 19, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Oracle Park, San Francisco, CA
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network