Left-hander Max Fried will make his first start since April 13 when the Atlanta Braves play the second game of a three-game road series against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Fried (0-1) was already off to a rough start when he strained his right hamstring running the bases against the Miami Marlins and went to the injured list. He had an 11.45 ERA through three starts.
In 2020, Fried went 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 starts. He used the down time the past three weeks to figure out what went wrong.
“I wasn’t as crisp in my delivery,” Fried said. “I just wasn’t as timed up. I felt like I was really late and falling forward, wasn’t really driving the baseball like I was last year. I feel more timed up. I feel like everything is more crisp and on point. I’m excited to take it out there, not think about it and go compete.”
Fried allowed five runs on eight hits against the Nationals on April 7. In his career, he is 1-2 with a 6.48 ERA in seven games, six starts, versus Washington. He is 0-1 with a 14.21 ERA in three starts at Nationals Park.
Erick Fedde (2-2, 4.43 ERA) will start for the Nationals, and he is looking for his first career victory over the Braves. In five meetings, four starts, the left-hander is 0-2 with a 14.06 ERA. Atlanta gave him a beating on April 7, when he could only manage to get five outs, surrendering six runs (five earned) on six hits during a 7-6 loss.
“Honestly, my fastball was up a lot today,” Fedde said afterward. “Pitching behind in counts makes everything a lot tougher. Those were probably the two big things. Yeah, that pretty much led to everything.”
Since then, however, Fedde has been sharp, pitching to a 2.61 ERA over his past four starts. His best outing came last time out when he pitched a season-high six innings and allowed just one run on two hits with seven strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 28.
“I had everything pretty much working, especially the cutter,” Fedde said after the Nationals’ 8-2 win.
Atlanta put an end to its four-game losing streak Tuesday night when it defeated Washington 6-1, snapping the Nationals’ season-best, four-game winning streak.
The Braves, who came in with a National League-worst 5.06 ERA, got seven solid innings from Huascar Ynoa (3-1), who allowed just one unearned run. Ynoa hit a grand slam for good measure.
Ronald Acuna Jr., the National League Player of the Month for April, hit his 10th homer, a solo shot that gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the fifth.
“It feels good, but most important is we got the win,” Acuna said via an interpreter. “We came in with four losses in a row but today was a new game and a new series.”
Acuna has hit safely in six of seven games, going 8-for-29 (.276) with three homers, five RBIs and five runs.
Earlier Tuesday, Washington reinstated outfielder Juan Soto, who missed 10 games with a strained left shoulder, and right-hander Will Harris, who returned after sitting out the first 24 games with right hand inflammation.
Soto struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, and Harris pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts.
“The throwing is still a little bit of a concern,” manager Dave Martinez said of Soto before the game. “So for today, we’re going to use him as a pinch hitter and then we’ll keep building him up. He’s still doing his throwing program and we’ll see how he feels in the next couple of days.”
–Field Level Media