With pitchers fried, Braves’ Fried tries to win World Series

Nov 1, 2021, 4:19 AM | Updated: 6:42 pm
Braves starter Max Fried sits dejected in the dugout during the 6th inning of a 7-2 loss to the Ast...

Braves starter Max Fried sits dejected in the dugout during the 6th inning of a 7-2 loss to the Astros in game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

              Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia watches from the dugout during pre-game for Game 1 in baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia throws during the first inning in Game 3 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Braves starter Max Fried sits dejected in the dugout during the 6th inning of a 7-2 loss to the Astros in game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
            
              Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried is relieved during the sixth inning in Game 2 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried leaves the game during the sixth inning in Game 2 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — At this point, they’re all fried.

Starters, openers, closers and the rest of them. So many pitching changes by the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of who’s on the mound.

“Everybody that’s in the World Series right now is gassed, everybody,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said during Monday’s day off. “Both teams, all the players. It’s been a long year.”

Fortunately for him, he can now give the ball to Max Fried.

With five full days of rest, the 27-year-old lefty will start Game 6 on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park as Atlanta again tries to win its first championship since 1995. The Braves missed a major chance Sunday night, wasting an early four-run lead at home in what became a 9-5 loss that cut their lead to three games to two.

Luis Garcia starts for Houston. For how long, we’ll see.

It’ll be a big ask for the AL Rookie of the Year candidate as he’ll start on just three days’ rest.

“We think that he’s the best for the job. We realize that he has a short leash, but then everybody out there has a short leash and operating on low rest or not full rest,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

Not a surprise considering both teams have employed at least five pitchers in every game so far.

Houston relievers Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek each have worked four times. Teammates Kendall Graveman, Brooks Raley and Yimi García have been summoned three times apiece.

Braves relievers Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, A.J. Minter and Will Smith all have three appearances already.

They’re fighting fatigue — and the familiarity hitters now have with their repertoires. But that’s how it adds up when there’s such a premium on finding the proper edge every inning. Many people play a role in factoring those equations.

“The organization gets together because we have quite a few pitching guys here in the analytics department, and it’s probably bigger on the pitching side of things, bullpen side of things, matchup side of things,” Baker said.

“We have charts and things … pocket sheets and stuff that we have to decipher and use at our discretion,” he said.

Garcia pitched into the fourth inning of Game 3 Friday night at Atlanta in a 2-0 loss, allowing one run and three hits. He needed 72 pitches to go that far, walking four and striking out six.

The 24-year-old righty won the clinching Game 6 of the AL Championship Series, blanking Boston on one hit over 5 2/3 innings. He said he had no concerns about pitching on short rest.

Other than condensing his workload, “nothing has changed. I just want to do my thing,” he said.

Fried excelled in going 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA during the regular season and was sharp against Milwaukee in the NL Division Series and the opener of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But he hasn’t looked anything like that lately.

With a chance to send the Braves to the World Series, and pitching in front of family and friends at Dodger Stadium, he got tagged for five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings of Game 5.

He wasn’t any better in Game 2 at Houston last Wednesday, allowing six runs and seven hits in five innings.

“I think he’s been off a little bit the last couple times, hasn’t been himself,” Snitker said.

“I expect to see Max on top of his game tomorrow. I expect that every time he goes out. I mean, this guy probably, since the All-Star break, is one of the best pitchers in the game. So that’s kind of the version of Max that I expect to see tomorrow,” he said.

If it goes to Game 7, Ian Anderson would start for Atlanta. He pitched five hitless innings, then was pulled from his start in Game 3 Friday night.

“We’re in a good spot right now with Ian on tap,” Snitker said.

Fried would prefer to end things himself and give the Braves a whole winter to rest up as champs.

“Any time that you go out there and you don’t perform the way that you want, you don’t win, you want to go back out there and redeem yourself,” he said. “It’s probably going to be my last outing of the year, so there’s nothing to hold back.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) celebrates a touchdown by wide receiver Van Jeffer...
Associated Press

Mayfield rallies Rams past Raiders in final minute, 17-16

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds to play to cap a 98-yard drive, and the Los Angeles Rams’ brand-new quarterback led two TD drives late in the fourth quarter of a shocking 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night. Just two […]
21 hours ago
San Antonio Spurs' Tre Jones (33) goes to the basket against Houston Rockets' Usman Garuba (16) and...
Associated Press

Johnson’s hot start helps Spurs beat Rockets, end skid at 11

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Keldon Johnson scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs snapped an 11-game losing streak by beating the Houston Rockets 118-109 on Thursday night. Johnson made his first nine shots and his first three 3-pointers in helping San Antonio win for the first time since Nov. 11. Tre Jones had a […]
21 hours ago
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul G...
Associated Press

Adebayo, Butler lift Heat past Kawhi-less Clippers 115-110

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo knows the Miami Heat have some work to do to climb up the standings. Thursday was, he hopes, a good start. Adebayo had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 26 points and the Heat held off the Los Angeles Clippers 115-110. “If we worry about ourselves, I feel […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Mikonowicz, Toledo women upend No. 14 Michigan 71-68

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Sammi Mikonowicz made a layup with 13.6 seconds left and then added two free throws at 3.1 seconds as Toledo beat No. 14 Michigan 71-68 on Thursday night for its first win over a ranked team in 12 years and first on the road since March of 1996. The Rockets […]
21 hours ago
A photograph taken using a drone shows Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium after owners the Gl...
Associated Press

Man United owners not taking semi-annual dividend

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United’s owners have not taken their semi-annual dividend for fiscal year 2023, according to the Premier League club’s quarterly financial reports. The decision preceded the Glazer family’s recent announcement that it would consider putting the club up for sale. Dividends amounting to $44 million were paid to the Glazers and […]
21 hours ago
Newly acquired Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner laughs during his introductory news conf...
Associated Press

Trea Turner, Phillies finalize 11-year, $300M contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper lobbed Philadelphia’s first recruiting pitch over the summer when the injured All-Star used a guest stint in the broadcast booth to advocate for the future free agent and his former Washington teammate. “Trea Turner, he’s my favorite player in the league,” Harper said. “Not even close.” Harper and Turner have […]
21 hours ago
With pitchers fried, Braves’ Fried tries to win World Series