Fried was hoping to avoid another start in which he would allow things to get out of hand after a few base hits. It appeared it was heading that direction in the first inning of the game.
The young pitcher allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings of work in Game 2 and in the first inning of Game 6, Fried allowed Houston Astros star Jose Altuve to single and a defensive mishap allowed Michael Brantley to make it to first base.
The Brantley play became a source of controversy because it didn’t appear the outfielder stepped on first base and instead stepped on Fried’s ankle. With two on and no outs, Fried came back and struck out Carlos Correa, got Yordan Alvarez to ground out and struck out Yuli Gurriel.
The resilience of Fried carried Atlanta all the way through to the 7-0 win and World Series title. He allowed just four hits and struck out six in six innings.
“To be honest, it was one of those things where I just didn’t want the inning to get out of hand the way that it did in the last outing,” he said of the Brantley play. “A couple of groundball base hits and the next thing you know it’s four runs on the board. It was basically just one of those moments where I said I want to be able to try and stop it and just let everything that I had and was luckily able to get out of it.”
Fried said when it came down to it, it was just about winning the game.
“I haven’t had too much time to think about it but it’s one of those dream come true moments. You dream about it happening, especially being able to come back and redeem myself the way I did after Game 2 it was … at the end of the day I was just trying to win a game,” he said. “Just trying to win a ball game for these guys and couldn’t be happier for this group.”
Fried was relied upon even more in the regular season after Mike Soroka was lost for the season.
After finishing fifth in NL Cy Young voting in 2020, Fried recorded a 3.04 ERA with 158 strikeouts and a league-leading two shutouts.
Atlanta couldn’t have asked for him to do more on Tuesday.