Max Fried is sharp as Braves blank Brewers to tie NLDS at 1-all

Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game 2 of the NLDS on Oct. 9, 2021.
Braves starter Max Fried pitched six scoreless inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Atlanta’s 3-0 win in Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

Max Fried pitched six sharp innings and Atlanta’s bullpen held on after manager Brian Snitker’s quick hook, sending the Braves over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 on Saturday to tie their National League Division Series at a game apiece.

The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last three innings but couldn’t get a key hit.

Austin Riley homered and Ozzie Albies hit an RBI double for the Braves, who bounced back after losing 2-1 in Game 1.


The best-of-five series heads to Atlanta for Game 3 on Monday.

Fried struck out nine, gave up three hits and didn’t walk anybody. The Brewers didn’t get a runner in scoring position until Willy Adames hit a two-out double in the sixth, and Fried responded by striking out Eduardo Escobar.

“[Fried] was phenomenal — all you could ask for,” said Riley, who homered in the sixth inning. “He came out, pounded the zone. He’s been doing that since the All-Star break.”

Fried, a left-hander, went 7-0 with a 1.46 earned-run average over his last 11 regular-season starts. Counting Saturday’s performance, he has surrendered just one earned run over 29 innings in his last four starts.

“He’s just a really good pitcher, executing a lot of pitches,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It spells a tough night for the offense.”

Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock each drive runs and Will Smith homers to power the Dodgers to a series-tying 9-2 win over the Giants in NLDS Game 2.

Oct. 9, 2021


This was the second straight exceptional outing by a Braves starter in a series that has been dominated by pitching.

Atlanta’s Charlie Morton held Milwaukee scoreless through six innings Friday but yielded a two-run homer to Rowdy Tellez in the seventh inning on his 85th and final pitch.

“You just try to focus and realize that this is the same game we’ve been playing all year,” Fried said. “The stakes might be a little bit higher, but you go out there and make the pitch that you’re supposed to make, that’s going to trump all.”

Fried had thrown 81 pitches when he was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh.

The move nearly gave Atlanta two extra runs. After pinch-hitter Joc Pederson singled, Jorge Soler hit a deep drive that left fielder Christian Yelich caught in front of the wall.

Then the Brewers made things interesting against Atlanta’s bullpen.

After reliever Luke Jackson struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, Luis Urias singled and Lorenzo Cain walked to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Tyler Matzek replaced Jackson and got out of the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor.

Jace Peterson walked and Kolten Wong singled to start the bottom of the eighth, but Matzek worked out of it by retiring Adames, Escobar and Avisail Garcia in order.

Will Smith worked around a leadoff walk to Yelich and a single by Urias in the ninth by getting a flyout and a ground-ball double play for his first career postseason save.

“I thought in those three innings, we got runners on base,” Counsell said. “We had some pitches to hit, and we just fouled them off.”

Four Atlanta pitchers struck out 14 and combined on a six-hitter.

Max Fried, the Atlanta Braves’ Game 1 starter in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, started his career in the Encino Little League.

Oct. 12, 2020

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the third off Brandon Woodruff and were inches away from getting a third run in that inning.

Soler hit a one-out double down the left-field line and beat the throw home when Freddie Freeman singled to right. Albies drove in Freeman with an RBI double that went off the yellow at the top of the right-field wall.

Albies was left stranded at second, but the Braves extended the lead to 3-0 three innings later when Riley sent an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall.

Woodruff struck out seven while giving up three runs, five hits and one walk in six innings. The All-Star right-hander had the worst run support of any major league starting pitcher during the regular season, which explains why he went 9-10 despite owning a sparkling 2.56 ERA.