So, Max Fried returned to the mound yesterday afternoon in Chicago for the first time since a forearm injury knocked him out of commission on May 5th.
Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the full breakdown of the Katy Perry lyrics here. Well, most of them anyway. But there is a part of that song that kind of fits Max Fried’s comeback last night. Especially if we slide in a bit of an edit.
“Pitcher of last night ended up online. I’m screwed. Oh, well. It’s a blacked out blur, but I’m pretty sure it ruled. Damn.”
The Cubs definitely found themselves screwed yesterday, and to say that the return of Max Fried (6 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.69) was a success would be an understatement. Fried threw 6 shutout innings of 3-hit ball with 8 strikeouts and zero walks. 49 of his 72 pitches were strikes, and boy did he have both the fastball and slider firing full force in the Windy City.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 4, 2023
Anyone not wearing one of those sweet Wrigleyville jerseys would say ‘I’m pretty sure it ruled’. Damn, indeed.
But Fried wasn’t the only thing that Braves fans could be happy about on the way to becoming MLB’s first 70 win club. Austin Riley (1-for-5) hit his 26th homer, and 2nd homer in two games, Marcel Ozuna (1-for-3) hit his 23rd home run, and Sean Murphy (1-for-3) hit his 18th homer of the season. A serious question: How many Braves will finish in the top 10 in NL MVP voting this year? I’d wager it’s certainly more than a couple.
Here’s what else I saw in MLB last night…
Ronald Acuña Jr. – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, triple (2), hitting .338. What? No bombs? No stolen bases? What a bum.
Kyle Hendricks – 4 IP, 8 hits, 7 ER, 3 K, 0 BB, 2 HR. Um…at least he didn’t walk anyone? If you started Hendricks against the Braves yesterday, you are either (a) in an NL only league with a lot of injured pitchers, (b) are in a reverse scoring league where bad stats = good, (c) …
Jose Siri – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, and his 21st home run. Hey Siri? What’s another word for an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and water?
Curtis Mead – 1-for-1, first career hit. Mead came in as a replacement for Wander Franco (no injury) in the 8th and promptly hammered the first pitch he saw into RF for a single. Hopefully, he’s up for good, but as we all know the Rays are gonna Rays so who knows if he gets regular playing time.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, and his 18th home run. Cake Batter added an RBI double off the Green Monster in Toronto’s 7-3 win over the Red Sox. Also homering for the Blue Jays – Matt Chapman (15), Dalton Varsho (13), Whit Merrifield (10), and rookie Davis Schneider (1) hit his first career home run in his first at-bat.
Alek Manoah – 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 5 K’s, 2 BB, 2 HR (3rd win). The worries about Manoah spiked after he lost control of a fastball that ended Taylor Ward’s season last week. 2 home runs and 2 walks allowed aren’t ideal, but this has to go down as a positive for Manoah considering the control issues he’s shown all year.
Jarren Duran – 3-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, and his 8th home run, and 2nd home run in two games. He’s been hitless just once in his last 11 games, and the base knocks have been flowing fast. Just like that river twisting through a dusty land.
Lane Thomas – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 home runs (17, 18). After Jake Alu’s double put the Nationals ahead in the top of the 10th, Thomas hit his second home run of the night to give Washington some insurance. It’s been mentioned a few times already here, but it really does feel like Lane Thomas’s season has been an under-the-radar one. 18 HR, 60 RBI, 73 R, .286, 12 SB is good for the 11th OF spot on the Player Rater.
Kyle Finnegan – 1 IP, 0 ER, 2K, ERA at 2.87, and his 16th save. Nearly a strikeout an inning and just 14 BB in 47 IP. Methinks the Nationals are going to take it easy with Hunter Harvey’s elbow injury. And for a guy named Finnegan, methinks that methinks is an appropriate term to use.
Matt McLain – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, and his 12th home run. McLain also doubled. Ok, so we know how good some of the rookies are, but this is another one that seems to be overshadowed by some of the other young stars in the league. 12 HR in 288 AB, and a .309/.371/.535 triple slash line? Plus 9 SB? And he’s hitting nukes like this one last night? M&M is going to have several sleeper articles written about him this winter.
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 4, 2023
James McCann – 3-for-3, 1 run, 5 RBIs (!), 1 SB (!). “Hello, James? Ya, this is the devil calling. Remember when you sold me your soul for that one good game? Ya. Did you want this one to be it?”
Ryan Mountcastle – 1-for-5. Like Duran above, Mountcastle is on a 7 game hit streak of his own. Unlike Duran, he came into last night’s game with 11 hits in his last 13 ABs. It seems like they have 20 hitters for 9 spots, but no matter who they plug into the lineup, the Orioles keep on rolling.
Yordan Alvarez – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and his 20th home run. How is it that Captain Woo Cubano seems to miss months at a time but still somehow has 20 home runs?
Yainer Diaz – 1-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, and his 14th home run. He was the first BUY in Grey’s Buy/Sell yesterday, and you’d better slide on these iron gloves because the window to pick up Diaz is slamming shut.
Bobby Witt Jr. – 2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, a slam (20) and legs (32). ‘Member when some people were saying in the preseason that Witt wasn’t a first round pick? ‘Member when I mentioned that he might be a sell because of that weak OBP? He’s got multiple hits in 5 of his last 7 games and has homered in 4 of those. Oof X 100.
Dairon Blanco – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs, 3 SB (10, 11, 12). Here’s the obligatory SAGNOF guy from yours truly. Blanco still isn’t starting every day, but he has been in the lineup 7 out of the last 10 games. The wheels are there if you need a replacement for an injured OF or could use a speed boost in H2H.
Aaron Nola – 5.1 IP, 8 hits, 5 ER, 8 K’s, 1 BB, 2 HR. Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand, how he throws lots of K’s but still gets his hide tanned. Oh my Nola…N-O-L-A, Nola.
Andres Gimenez – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 doubles (17), and his 10th home run. Guess who’s all queued up for an add in the Perts league?! But seriously, hitting between Steven Kwan and Jose Ramirez is a lot better than whatever Cleveland is doing with that bottom third of the order.
Adolis Garcia – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 HR (27, 28). So…I don’t know what else there is to say about this guy. Two homers last night. A double. A triple slash line of .266/.341/.530. Heck, he’s even got 7 steals to boot. And that second home run…well, I can’t just leave it to your imagination.
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 5, 2023
Jordan Montgomery – 6 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 6 K’s, 1 BB, 1 HR. A nice debut in The Lone Star State for JoMo. That offense is already the best in baseball. Bringing in Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery makes them even more dangerous. Getting word that Nathan Eovaldi is 2-3 weeks away is even more encouraging than what some people feared when he was first shelved with a forearm injury. This team is definitely one that will scare others come October.
Carlos Santana – 2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, and his 14th home run. Oye Como Va! Santana gave his old teammate, Quinn Priester (4 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 3 K’s 3 BB, 1 HR, ERA at 8.70), some of that Black Magic Whoa-Man.
Nolan Jones – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, as he played LF and hit 5th. Immediately after the game Bud Black was spotted searching through his rolodex for Michael Cuddyer’s phone number.
Nolan Gorman – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 home runs (23, 24). Both were solo home runs.
Adam Wainwright – 3 IP, 9 hits, 7 ER, 5 K’s, 2 BB, ERA at 7.81. The price was wrong for Wainwright last night, that’s for sure.
Reid Detmers (4 IP, 9 hits, 7 ER, 4 K’s, 2 BB, 3 HR), and Luis Castillo (6 IP, 10 hits, 7 ER, 6 K’s, 1 BB, 3 HR) – I wrote this one up before both games finished – coaching that 9 AM little league practice comes early on the east coast. I did wait until after both starters had been lifted/put out of their misery. Last night was as close to a nightmare as it gets for most starting pitchers and 7 ER seemed to be the line of the night. An equal stinker from both of these guys, but Detmers gets the sour puss title for giving up a home run to Dylan Moore (5).
That’s all, Razzfolks! As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, you can always catch me here or @MarmosDad on Twitter. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the Saturday games!