Coming into the 2019 season, the Atlanta Braves knew their weaknesses. They knew that their pitching staff was their weakest aspect and that in order to make another playoff run. The club acquired a great starting staff, one that has proved itself greatly in the opening month, but one that has also been let down many times by their relievers.
A prime example of this fault is the Tuesday, April 16, loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Max Fried, a young pitcher making his third start of the season, proving himself yet again by only allowing one run through six solid innings. He was pulled in the sixth simply due to pitch count precautions, but the Braves held a 5-1 lead, leaving Brain Snitker comfortable with the pitching change.
That was until Chad Sobotka came in to relieve Fried and could not retire a batter. Jesse Biddle then came in to hopefully put out the fire, but he could also not calm the flames.
Not to take away from the Diamondback's offense in any way, but the two relievers were not throwing pitches that were competitive and were drowning in walks. The bullpen lost the lead, and the potential of a win for Fried, in the sixth as they gave up five runs giving Arizona a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.
Ozzie Albies ties the game up, giving Atlanta some hope back, but the pitching staff could not produce and eventually gave the game away in a 9-6 loss.
When a club acquires starting pitchers as young and as talented as those of Max Fried, it is crucial to have a line of support behind them. The Atlanta offense is so dynamic, but it is impossible to win games without a pitching staff that can finish out games for their starters.