ATLANTA – “Where there is pitching, there is no hitting” reads an old baseball phrase. The best riding performance of the entire current major league postseason is what holds the Atlanta Braves three wins away from advancing to their first World Series since 1999.
Atlanta scored the winning run in the close of the ninth inning to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Saturday at the start of the old circuit final. Starter Max Fried and three relievers allowed 10 hits, but almost always got a big out to prevent dangerous rivals from taking off on the scoreboard.
The Dodgers, who had a bullpen game, paraded eight pitchers up the Truist Park mound.
For Game 2, on Sunday, rights will open Ian Anderson, for Atlanta, and Max Scherzer, for Los Angeles. When the playoff shifts to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Charlie Morton will meet Walker Buehler.
“Well, we avoided runs all night. So we didn’t win the game because we didn’t produce runs. We just didn’t get the hits when we needed them,” said Dave Roberts, manager of the Dodgers.
It’s fair to say that Atlanta stopped Dodgers hitters from hitting when they needed it most, because that’s what the East Division champion has done since playball was called in the playoffs.
Atlanta’s pitching is 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA (8 earned runs in 44.0 innings) with two shutouts, 55 strikeouts and just 10 walks in five postseason games, where they have faced two teams in straight series. , the Milwaukee Brewers and the Dodgers, with extraordinary pitching staffs.
For example, Los Angeles’ pitching has also been superb, with 73 strikeouts and 10 walks in 61.1 innings, but its ERA (2.05 in seven games), while magnificent, is higher than Atlanta’s.
The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros, who are tied 1-1 after the first two games of the AL Championship Series, have earned run percentages of 4.43 and 5.09, respectively, in the playoffs, and 5.29. and 6.00 in the final of the young circuit.
Fried is the only starting pitcher with six innings in the first three games of the Championship Series. Fried, Anderson and Morton have a 2.05 ERA with 34 strikeouts and two walks in 26.1 innings. Dodgers starters have 29 innings, but in two more games.
“I’m a big believer in starting pitching,” manager Brian Snitker said after Saturday’s win.
“I mean, it’s, you know, a lot of those flags, all those flags are flying because we had really good starting pitchers,” Snitker said. “I think six innings in the postseason is huge for a man, because of the energy that they expend mentally and physically. I feel like we have three guys who can do that, with Ian, Charlie and Max.”
“I mean, it’s huge. It gives you a lot of confidence because, like I said today, I feel like we have three really good options,” Snitker said of his three star pitchers.