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Max Fried faces off with Zack Wheeler as Braves look to even series

The Braves need their offense to take some pressure off the pitching staff in Game 2.

Atlanta Braves Workouts Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves will be looking to bounce back Monday night when they continue the Division Series with Game 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta was shut out at home for the first time in over 700 days in Game 1 wasting a good outing by Spencer Strider in the process. Max Fried will take the mound for the Braves Monday while the offense will again face a tough task in Philadelphia right hander Zack Wheeler.

While Atlanta’s lack of offense was the biggest storyline coming out of Game 1, all eyes will be on Max Fried in Game 2. Fried will make his first start since going on the injured list in late September due to a blister on his index finger. Fried said Saturday that the blister has healed and that he is ready to go for Game 2. Still, the condition of his finger will be something to keep an eye on, not only for Monday’s start, but also after the game.

Fried’s blister issues actually began in a start against the Phillies on September 12 where he allowed four hits and one run, but exited after five innings and 87 pitches. The Braves gave him nine days between starts in hopes that would clear up the issue, but it again flared up after his final start of the regular season in Washington. He was placed on the injured list the next day.

The blister issue and a forearm injury limited Fried to just seven regular season starts. That September start was the only time he saw the Phillies this season, but he has a 3.62 ERA for his career against Philadelphia in 19 appearances.

One of the troubling aspects of Atlanta’s loss in Game 1 is that their offensive struggles came against essentially the Phillies’ third starter in Ranger Suarez and the bullpen. Now they must go through Wheeler Monday and then Aaron Nola in Wednesday in Philadelphia for Game 3.

The Braves faced Wheeler three times during the regular season. They beat him up for six runs and three homers in a start on September 12 at Truist Park. He allowed just one run and had 17 strikeouts in 14 innings in the other two outings combined. Wheeler has a 3.18 ERA against Atlanta in 27 starts across his career.

From an individual standpoint, Travis d’Arnaud is 7-for-18 with a double and a homer in his career against Wheeler so it won’t be surprising to see him catch Fried Monday night. Ronald Acuña Jr. is 11-for-44 against Wheeler with four doubles and four home runs.

First pitch for Game 2 Monday is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. ET and can be seen on TBS.

Game 2 Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, October 9, 6:07 p.m. ET

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: TBS

Radio: ESPN Radio, 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan

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