Umpire's unacceptable missed call sours Max Fried's season debut for Braves

A blown call during Saturday's game with the Phillies surely didn't help Max Fried's rough outing.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Major League Baseball has a growing problem and it mostly is due to the umpires continually missing big calls. That unfortunately had a hand in affecting the Atlanta Braves on Saturday evening.

Max Fried is in the final year of his contract with the Braves and made his season debut at Citizens Bank Park. It wasn't a very pretty outing as Fried didn't make it out of the first inning. Most of that burden fell on Max as he struggled to command his pitches.

However, with a 2-2 count on Nick Castellanos with bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Fried threw a 98 mph fastball right down the middle, and home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman called it ball three.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Castellanos knew it was strike three and almost started walking toward the dugout. Atlanta led 2-0 at this point and it should have remained that way. Fried may still have been replaced by Chavez but it would have held the lead.

Instead, Fried walked Castellanos which brought Philly within a run of Atlanta, and then Max allowed a 2-run single to Bryson Stott to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. This ended a rough outing for Fried who allowed three earned runs over two-thirds of an inning with two hits, three walks, and one strikeout.

He was replaced by Jesse Chavez who was able to escape the inning and worked a 1-2-3 second inning with a strikeout. Fortunately for Max, the Braves immediately bailed him out with a three-run top of the second. Michael Harris II walked, Arcia launched a double to left, and they were both driven in by d'Arnaud with a double. This gave the Braves the lead back at 4-3. Jarred Kelenic then drove in Travis with a single to center field to make it 5-3.

Despite the Braves' prolific offense being able to come back and retake the lead, it should have never left their hands. MLB umpires have gotten out of hand with missing calls that are pretty obvious. Yes, they are human and make mistakes, but this one shouldn't be overlooked.

The challenge system at the minor league level has been working well and doesn't take a long time. There's no reason it shouldn't be implemented at the MLB level if the point is to make sure we are getting calls right.

Hopefully, this improves soon or it will be a long season for baseball fans. For Braves fans, the concern also lies with Max Fried. It's only one game but he has been struggling during Spring and that has carried over into this start. Mostly his command has been off because his stuff is there. The curveball is still sharp and the fastball has plenty of heat on it as he hit 98 mph a few times.

There's still time to improve and I'm sure Max will get his footing. The team will need him to as he's a very important cog in the Braves machine.

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