Braves’ Max Fried hopes to solve Marlins

MLB

Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried, who has yet to beat the Marlins in eight career starts, will get another chance on Saturday afternoon in Miami.

Fried (5-5, 4.66 ERA) will try to beat a fellow lefty, Marlins rookie All-Star Trevor Rogers (7-5, 2.22). It will be the second contest of a three-game series after the Braves won the opener 5-0 on Friday behind seven strong innings from right-hander Charlie Morton.

Fried owns an 0-3 record and a 6.19 ERA in his career against the Marlins. This year, he is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA against the Marlins.

Oddly, he has allowed fared better in four career starts at Miami (0-1, 3.18 ERA) than in four career outings against the Marlins in Atlanta (0-2, 11.20).

Rogers hasn’t performed well against the Braves, either, going 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in two career starts.

On April 15, Rogers allowed three hits, three walks and two runs in five innings during a no-decision against Atlanta. He kept the Braves off the scoreboard until Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

The Marlins haven’t done a great job of supporting Rogers, as they are just 9-8 when their Rookie of the Year candidate pitches.

Acuna, already a superstar at age 23, could be a National League MVP contender this season. He is hitting .281 with 24 homers, a league-leading 71 runs and 52 RBIs.

Atlanta pitcher Ian Anderson had a classic line when asked about Acuna recently.

“When is he going to get called up to the next league?” Anderson joked.

Acuna, though, lost his temper on Friday when he was hit by a Miami pitch for the second time in eight days, although it wasn’t a fastball. In fact, it was just an 84 mph slider.

Still, Acuna appears well aware of Miami’s record of hitting him with pitches — thus his frustration. It marked the seventh time a Marlins pitcher has plunked him in his four major league seasons.

On July 2, Miami’s Pablo Lopez was ejected when he hit Acuna on the game’s first pitch. Acuna came around to score a run that inning, and Atlanta won 1-0.

This time, there were no ejections, but Acuna wasn’t happy.

However, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of the latest hit-by-pitch, “Not a big deal. He hit him with a breaking ball. I think everybody handled themselves fine.”

How the Marlins pitch to Acuna will be a story to watch on Saturday.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is also worth tracking. He has hit 34 career homers against Miami, including a solo shot Friday.

Miami’s relief corps may be a bit tired after having had to cover all nine innings during a bullpen game in the series opener. Atlanta’s bullpen, in contrast, threw just two frames.

The Marlins, who won three consecutive games earlier this week against the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, have now lost two games in a row.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who had his contract for 2022 picked up on Thursday, has shown a ton of patience with a young and inconsistent team that sits in last place in the National League East.

“We want to win,” Mattingly said. “We feel like we’re getting closer. How do we get there? That’s the challenging part.”

–Field Level Media

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