Max Fried proving to be Atlanta's ace pitcher

Bill Shanks

Sometimes a pitcher has to show you how good he is by getting out of the mess he creates himself. Max Fried did that Sunday in his start against the Phillies in the second game of a double-header at Citizen's Bank Park.

With the Braves up 4-0, the Phillies loaded the bases against Fried with a single, a walk and then a hit batsman. Fried was showing some fatigue, but with left-handed hitter Bryce Harper coming up Braves manager Brian Snitker stuck with his starting pitcher.

And Fried coaxed Harper to fly out to center field to end the inning. It showed Fried is no longer just a young pitcher trying to make his mark. He's making it and establishing himself as a legit Cy Young candidate for the National League.

Fried went five scoreless innings and allowed four hits, walked that one batter in the fifth inning and struck out six. He's now 3-0 on the season with an ERA of 1.59.

Fried has now allowed just four earned runs in four starts on 13 hits in 22.2 innings, with just six walks and 21 strikeouts.

The Braves starting rotation has a 3-5 record with a 4.44 ERA in the first 17 games of the season, with 64 hits allowed in 77 innings, 39 runs, 38 earned runs, 35 walks and 67 strikeouts.

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