Fried, Ryu match up as Braves battle Dodgers
Max Fried presumably had enough time to catch his breath in advance of his start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, although the Atlanta Braves pitcher/pinch runner will always have the memory of his peculiar jaunt around the bases last weekend.
Fried was utilized on the bases in the 10th inning Sunday at Miami and ended up scoring the go-ahead run from first base on a hit down the left field line by Ender Inciarte. Fried utilized a stutter-step at third base, a stumble coming home and a dive into the plate even though the throw home was way ahead of him.
But Fried scored anyway when catcher Chad Wallach was unable to handle the throw. Throwing his left (pitching) arm and shoulder through Wallach's shin guard wasn't the best idea, but the run scored and the Braves completed a sweep of the Marlins.
"I came around third and kind of stuttered a little bit, just kind of lost my footing, and figured the only way I was making it to home plate was launching myself forward," Fried told reporters afterward. "There wasn't a lot of thinking. It took me back to high school."
That high school was Harvard-Westlake in the Los Angeles area, which puts Fried back home for his next outing. Fried made his Dodger Stadium debut in last year's National League Division Series, pitching in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief over Games 1 and 2.
He does have a hard-luck regular-season start against the Dodgers, giving up one run on two hits over five innings while taking the loss in a July game at Atlanta last year.
Fried (4-1, 2.11 ERA) is coming off a strong start Wednesday against the Padres and has not allowed a walk in his past two outings, but he will match up against a Dodgers starter who has no equal in the walk department. Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.55) has walked just two batters all season and leads baseball with just 0.5 walks per nine innings.
Ryu has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his six starts and is coming off an outing on Wednesday against the Giants when he gave up one run over eight innings, a game the Dodgers eventually lost 2-1.
"It's unfortunate when you don't win a game when he pitched the way he did," manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "He had command of everything. His entire mix was really good. He was under control and kept those guys off-balance. Certainly, it was his best outing of the year."
Ryu also faced his next opponent last postseason. The left-hander got the Dodgers off to a 1-0 NLDS lead when he gave up no runs on four hits over seven innings against the Braves last fall. He is 0-1 in three regular-season starts against the Braves with a 2.95 ERA.
The Dodgers welcomed back Cody Bellinger to the lineup Monday after the he did not start in the previous two games because of a shoulder injury that occurred Friday when he was diving for a ball while playing first base. Roberts said Bellinger will play mostly in the outfield now to limit his instincts to dive.
Bellinger went 1-for-5 on Monday as the Dodgers won the opener of the three-game series 5-3.
The Braves got Ronald Acuna Jr. back to the lineup Monday after the left fielder did not play Sunday because of a sore back. Acuna finished 0-for-4 on Monday after he was 4-for-4 on Saturday against the Marlins.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 7, 2019