I was nervous going into this game as we had snow and rain a couple of days before this, and I was afraid it was going to be bad weather. It turned out to be a perfect night for a game. I went with a different friend then I normally do, and he decided not to wear a coat and I thought he was crazy. He turned out to be right.
I also saw the best game I saw by a starter in Coors Field, at least that I remember. The previous best was by Greg Maddox shortly after Coors open. Again, this start was by the visiting pitcher. It was Max Fried of the Braves.
He was in control the whole game. He had got the first nine batters out before Connor Joe hit a single hard down the right field line for a single. If Joe wasn’t played to pull a little the first baseman would have had an easy chance. I think a real good first baseman could have made the play. That’s the breaks. There was never two men on base in an inning. Fried allowed 2 hits and 1 walk in 8 innings, which he threw 102 pitches.
Fried only had 4 strikeouts but seemed totally in control the whole way. His game score was 81. As the game went scoreless the first nine innings Fried didn’t get a decision.
His opponent Chad Kuhl was looking bad the first inning. He threw 28 pitches but was helped when the Braves tried a double steal, Ronald Acuna Junior was thrown out at the plate. This always seems strange to me as I seen a lot of pitchers not look sharp early and seen them pulled out of the fire by questionable base running. From the way Kuhl was pitching it looked like a big inning. The inning ended with the bases loaded so four men got on base. The Braves had 2 hits and 2 walks but no score.
That changed after the first inning as Kuhl lasted only 3 hits the next 5 innings. He ended up with a game score of 63 with six shutout innings.
The game flowed nicely, and I had the seat close to home plate which was a great seat to see the great pitching. It was a Friday night and people were enjoying game and talking to people around us. The two ladies right in front of us, who were there with there husbands told us they had been best friends since they were 11 years old which was neat.
With game 0-0 in the top of the 10th Bud Black bought in Carlos Estevez in the top of the 10th who can throw 100 miles per hour. He threw fast but had control problems. After getting the leadoff batter, Estevez threw a wild pitch sending the lead off runner to third, walked a batter and then hit a batter with a pitch. With the bases loaded Estevez threw another wild pitch scoring the first run of the game.
Now what happed next was one of those things. I caught as I sat down a lady a few rows ahead of us throw the rest of her drink at a guy the row behind her, who was there was his buddy. Also, if looks could kill he would have been dead. She and her friend went in a huff up the stairs. The ladies in front of us who were friends since age 11 went up also soon after them. They came down a couple of minutes later and said that the two women from out front were kicked out. She said they were telling security the guy behind them used the “b” word. That was exactly what they said. However, the “young friend” ladies told security about the one woman throwing the drink and they were told to leave the stadium. It was unanimous in the area that the “b” word didn’t call for a drink being thrown.
Meanwhile Estevez put together his control enough to strike out the next batter. He then gave up an intentional walk before being taken out of the game. This counted as walk for Estevez even though he didn’t throw a pitch. In one way I think this is fair, but another it seems strange. However, if I was making the rule I would go with what is fair. Lucas Gilbreath then came in to pitch. Matt Olson then got the hit of the game getting a single to drive in two runs to make the score 3-0.
Then Kenley Jensen came into the game to get the save. He didn’t look sharp, and I notice he had a lot of walks. That was a problem he had starting in 2020 and had even worse in 2021. He had 52 saves despite the lack of control in 2021. His control has improved this year, although it is still too early to tell. The positive was he gave up only a run and got his 13th save of the year. This was the Brave 26th victory so Jensen has saved half their wins. Apparently the designated runner on second to start an inning doesn’t count as an earned run even though it counts as a run scored against the pitcher. So, a lot of unearned runs aren’t due to errors with this rule. I have to give Jensen credit as he didn’t look that sharp, but he did his job and got the save.
I was an enjoyable game even though the home team didn’t win.