Aug 4, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) throws the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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In the first game of this series, what I personally expected to be a close match-up between a dominant Braves club and a Cubs team that has been quite hot as of late, started as such as there wasn’t a hit or even a walk allowed through the entire first 3 innings.

It was a very entertaining pitching battle, until the Braves did what the Braves do in the 4th inning. 7 runs including a 3 run homer by Sean Murphy, then on the very next pitch, Marcell Ozuna blasted one out of the park to the amazement of the over 36,000 fans at Wrigley Field.

Yes, even the Cubs fans themselves were surprised, yet frustrated at the same time for obvious reasons. In the 7th inning, Austin Riley smacked a solo shot of his own for the 8th and final run of the ballgame.

All of the attention though was on Max Fried, who through all 6 innings of his first game back from his strained forearm, never allowed a run. The Braves fans in attendance were very pleased to see him return. What a show he gave them, including 8 strikeouts. Recently acquired Brad Hand from the Rockies, and Joe Jimenez followed suit with no runs allowed in the 7th and 8th innings respectively. As Collin McHugh closed out the game for the shutout in the Windy City on a beautiful afternoon. That Braves bullpen sure is terrifying. Their offense isn’t half bad either.


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