He didn’t pitch again until May 5. But he has allowed only one run in five of his six starts since returning from the injured list and has pitched at least six innings in four of the starts. The stint on the IL benefited him.
“I was able to take some time to point out some inconsistences, (such as) realizing I wasn’t executing as well mechanically,” Fried said. “It just really kind of gave me a nice little refresh to get back to being who I was, instead of trying to do a little bit more.”
“I think he is (back where he was last year),” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Friday. “He had the rocky start, but he regrouped. He’s pitching with a lot of confidence and adding on to what he did (last year) and just showing he’s ‘the guy.’ The consistency that he’s had since he came back has been really good.”
Fried was 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA last season, when he finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting. He’s 3-3 this season, and the early-season struggles still have his ERA inflated at 4.63.
He had his only shaky start of the past six June 1, allowing five runs (four earned) in 3-2/3 innings against the Nationals, but rebounded by holding the Dodgers to one run in six innings last weekend.
-- Cristian Pache, who lost the Braves’ starting center-field job for now when he batted .111 (7-for-63) earlier this season, hit two home runs for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. “We probably asked a lot of him off of a few games in the NL Championship Series, thinking that he was ready (for the majors),” Snitker said Friday. “So as many reps as he can get in Triple-A is just going to be better for him down the road.”
-- The Braves are one of three MLB teams that haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. The others: Miami and Texas.
-- Entering the weekend series at Miami, the Braves had a 14-16 record against NL East opponents, a big drop-off from recent years. Across the 2018-20 seasons, encompassing three division championships, the Braves were 119-73 against intra-divisional opponents. But this year they are 5-7 against the Phillies, 1-3 against the Mets, 1-3 against the Marlins (entering Friday) and 7-3 against the Nationals.
-- After back-to-back walk-off defeats in Philadelphia this week, the Braves’ relief pitchers are a cumulative 9-16, tied with Minnesota and Texas for the most bullpen losses in the majors. The Braves rank 27th in bullpen ERA at 4.86. Last season, Braves relievers were 21-9 with a 3.50 ERA, fourth best in the majors.