The Atlanta Braves welcomed the Chicago Cubs to Truist Field on Tuesday, for game one of a three-game set.
It hasn’t been the start to the 2022 season that most of us were expecting. Entering their sixth series of the young season on Tuesday night, the Atlanta Braves were still looking for their first series win.
This in itself isn’t exactly alarming news, but when you consider that the Braves have lost home series to the Nationals and Marlins and opened the season by splitting four games with the 3-13 (heading into play on Tuesday) Cincinnati Reds, that definitely raises the cause for concern.
The Braves turned to Max Fried on Tuesday to try to get the Cubs series off to a good start. Fried was coming off a dominant start against the Dodgers in which he was perfect through five innings and tossed seven shutout innings against a loaded Dodgers lineup.
The Cubs countered with Marcus Stroman, who was coming off of a rough outing last time out against Tampa Bay.
And while Stroman put together a quality start against the Braves, this game belonged to Max Fried and the Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night to improve to 8-10.
The Braves got the scoring started in the bottom of the second. After back-to-back singles by Ozuna and d’Arnaud to open the inning, Alex Dickerson and Adam Duvall contributed a pair of sac flies to move Ozuna around the basepaths and give the Braves a 1-0 lead after two.
Ian Happ tied the game up in the top of the third with a solo home run and the game would stay knotted up at one until the bottom of the fifth.
That’s when, after being asked by a fan to hit a home run, Travis Demeritte would untie the contest as he went the other way and drove his first major league home run since 2019 out to right field.
Demeritte and the fan celebrated the home run by sharing a high five on his way back to the dugout, which was a really cool moment that most likely neither one of them will ever forget.
Back-to-back singles from Swanson and Albies coupled with a Cubs’ error would tally another run and the Braves were in the driver’s seat up 3-1 heading into the sixth inning.
Fried worked an easy one-two-three top of the sixth inning and then turned the game over to the bullpen with a two-run lead.
Smith, Matzek, and Jansen did exactly what you would expect them to do, holding the Cubs scoreless in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, preserving a 3-1 Atlanta Braves win.
The stories of this game were Max Fried and Travis Demeritte.
Max Fried, while not as sharp as he was last week in Los Angeles, held the Cubs to one run over six innings, giving up just four hits and not walking a batter.
Travis Demeritte, if only for one night, provided the spark the Braves needed in the outfield.
As the Braves face the prospect of life without Eddie Rosario for the foreseeable future coupled with waiting for the return of Ronald Acuna, Jr., Demeritte stepped up both with the bat and glove, hitting the aforementioned home run and making a sliding inning-ending catch in the fourth.
The Braves and Cubs will lock horns in game two of the series tomorrow night as the Braves look to win their first series of the season with a victory tomorrow.
The Cubs will send Mark Leiter, Jr. to the hill while the Braves will counter with Charlie Morton, with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 pm EST.