After stealing Game 1 of the 2021 World Series on the road, the Atlanta Braves had a chance to take a commanding series lead on the Houston Astros in Game 2.
The Braves gave the ball to Max Fried in hopes of making that happen.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 27, 2021
But unfortunately, the left-handed hurler wasn’t able to get the job done.
He had his second straight ugly playoff outing, and Atlanta took a lopsided loss as a result.
The series is now tied 1-1.
Here are some takeaways from Fried’s night.
Fried’s Playoff Struggles Are Coming At An Inopportune Time
Fried has a lot of playoff experience under his belt.
The 27-year-old has appeared in four different postseasons and has made 16 total playoff outings.
Typically, he’s a good playoff performer.
Prior to his two most recent outings, he had a career ERA of 3.21 and FIP of 3.73 in the playoffs.
But those numbers are much higher now.
His recent postseason struggles started in Game 5 of the 2021 NLCS.
With a chance to send the Braves to the World Series, the former first-round pick got shelled to the tune of five runs over 4.2 innings of work.
He gave up eight hits and two home runs in that game, and Atlanta took a blowout defeat.
Fortunately, the Braves were able to bounce back in Game 6 and punch their ticket to the World Series despite the Game 5 setback.
Fried’s rocky outing was sort of swept under the rug as a result, and he was given a clean slate when the World Series started.
But that slate isn’t so clean anymore.
As mentioned, he had a rough night in Game 2 of the World Series.
Here’s what his line looked like: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
Fried was openly frustrated with his performance after the game.
— Alison Mastrangelo (@AlisonWSB) October 28, 2021
Over his last two starts in these playoffs, he has a 10.24 ERA.
Obviously, Fried has no choice but to bounce back.
He’ll look to end his struggles the next time he toes the rubber in this series.
What’s Next For The Southpaw?
It’s going to be a long few days for Fried until his next outing.
Unless one of these teams rips off a three-game win streak to clinch the World Series in five games, Fried will likely see action again.
When that happens, he’ll need to do everything in his power to have a short-term memory and shake off his last two outings.
We all know what this guy is capable of.
He’s coming off of a fantastic regular season in which he posted a 3.04 ERA, 145 ERA+, 3.31 FIP, and 5.4 bWAR over 28 starts.
His success in the 2021 regular season was nothing new for him, either.
Over five seasons at the MLB level, he has a career ERA of 3.34.
No one can doubt how talented he is.
Max Fried, Sick 94mph Two Seamer (and Sword). 🥴
16" of run. pic.twitter.com/TA8TR8MtXi
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 9, 2021
But now that the lights are the brightest, he needs to prove that he can handle the moment.
Fried’s past playoff success isn’t worth much at this point.
He needs to rise to the occasion for the Braves organization as it searches for its first World Series title since 1995.
Only time will tell how this story unfolds.