After getting eviscerated by Sandy Alcantara on Saturday afternoon, the Braves will hope that staff ace Max Fried will be able to do the same to the Marlins on Sunday, as they seek to take two series in a row from Miami, and maybe get a little bit of traction as far as their season is concerned.
The Braves remain mired in mediocrity, with a 22-25 record that puts them 8.5 games behind the Mets in the division, and three games out of a playoff spot. They continue to have something like a top-five roster, but between injuries, poor sequencing and the like, and poor tactics, the only kind of lemonade they’ve been able to make out of the 2022 season’s lemons has been a foul-tasting quaff.
Still, Max Fried has been a continual bright spot for the club. He is currently eighth in MLB with 1.5 fWAR, and hasn’t had a start yet this year where either his FIP or his xFIP exceeded 4.50. However, the Braves are just 1-2 in his last three starts, as the bullpen has faltered late in each game after he departed. The Braves went 2-2 in Fried’s four starts against the Marlins last year — he had his worst start of the season against them, plus a couple of more rough ones, and one decent outing. The Braves might need something better if they’re gonna start making headway against their present standings deficit.
Opposing Fried will be a guy the Braves have already seen twice this year: Elieser Hernandez. The 27-year-old righty comes into this game with a garish -0.4 fWAR, and had his turn in the rotation skipped before this game (he threw a scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts against the Rays). Back on April 23, the Braves bashed three homers off Hernandez and chased him with five runs, but lost late anyway. In his most recent, he allowed just a solo homer in five frames, but the Braves added more against the Miami relief corps and then held on for a 4-3 win. As such, you probably figure the Braves will hit at least a longball of Hernandez in this one, and the question will be largely whether ball-in-play shenanigans will avoid tormenting Fried and whether the bullpen can avoid imploding. But, it’s baseball, so who knows what might really happen.
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
Sunday, May 29, 2022
1:35 pm EDT
Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, La Mejor 1600/1460/1130 AM
XM Radio: Ch. 184