The game began as a one-hour duel between Max Fried and Trevor Bauer and evolved into a marathon, but the Atlanta Braves eventually beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 in the 13th.
Things started vaguely for Fried, as Nick Senzel and Nick Catel Stalenos greeted him with back-to-back singles and put the runners on the corner. Joy Wattoo came on the plate and was able to help the Braves by giving Freddie Freeman a bounce in the first inning from the inning. Eugenio Suarez then swung on Fried’s second first pitch and lined up towards Ozzy Albiz in the shift. Fried then went out to finish Mike Moustakas with an inning and a threat.
An error by Watto in the second allowed Albis to reach and Brave got his first Bezner. Albiz stole the second but Baumer dismissed Adam Duvall and Densby Swanson to end the innings.
It was the start of five straight strikeouts by Bauer at the end when he knocked Freeman to a 4-2 win over Slider in fourth place. Freeman advanced to second on an infield singles with two outs by Albiz but was stopped by Bauer knocking out Dove Out to finish the frame.
Fried matched Bauer’s pitch for the match and Castellanos retired from nine straight batters before breaking the string when he was out in sixth. Voto followed with a hit in the opposing field but Castellanos was killed by Duvall (and a great tag by Austin Riley) as he tried to move from first to third.
Freud hit Suarez with a nasty breaking ball to end the innings.
Brave threatened Bauer in the sixth but he left empty-handed. Ronald Aqua Jr. led the innings by doubling the base of the centerfield wall and then went third on a sharp ground by Freeman. He brought Marcel Ozuna ahead, but he chased the breaking ball 0-1 and popped out in foul territory in second place. Bauer then fired Travis D’Arnaud for the ninth strikeout of his game.
The Reds threatened Fried in the seventh as Aristides moved Aquino into one at a time and then into the second when Fried hit Jesse Winker on the arm and fastball. Kyle Farmer then fielded Austin Relay, who tried to start a double – 4–3 double play but Farmer beat the first relay throw. David Bell called on Matt Davidson to hit the pinch for Kurt Casali. Things then went crazy as the farmer broke into second place after the pitch, but it was too late. D’Arnaud threw in second and caught the farmer in a run down. Aquino then set out for home and retired on the leaping tag through the relay in the plate.
Undeterred by the missed opportunity, Bauer continued to control the Braves, giving Dove Swall and Swanson 11 punches out in the game, setting a Reds postseason record.
Fried came out after the seventh and you couldn’t really ask for more from him by allowing you six hits in seven scoreless innings. He struck out five and threw 78 pitches without anyone walking.
After Chris Martin finished eighth, Bower retired the first two hitters at the bottom and then he was out. He allowed only two hits when he scored 12 runs in 2 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches with 73 strikes. David Bell called out the reliever, Raisel Iglesias, who struck out Aqua to send the game to the ninth scoreless.
Mark Melancons did a perfect ninth performance to give the Braves a chance to go beyond that. Freddie Freeman started the run for Iglesias, who had Ozuna, D’Arnaud and Albis quick to finish the inning.
Atlanta’s Bullpen 10 continued to work, as Will Smith batted in two of the three innings. Former Brave prospect Lucas Sims had to deal with the man he traded with in Adam Duvall, replacing Iglesias. Duval did the leadoff walk but the Braves couldn’t do anything with it again to end the innings to Sims Relay.
The game led to the 11th and the Reds put up a second scoring chance against Atlanta’s Bullpen. Smith started the innings by dismissing Tucker Barnhart and then gave way to Darren O’Dwyer who dismissed pinch hitter Shogo Akiyama in the second out. Castellanoz then hit a double below the line. The Braves chose to deliberately walk Joey Voto but O’Day turned to Eugenio Suarez to load the base. Brian Sneijder then called Tyler Metzak from the bylaw and he was hitting Mike Moustakas on three pitches.
Metzac remained in the game in the 12th and quickly got into trouble as he welcomed runners in first and third place without giving anyone out, giving him back-to-back hits by Aquino and Winker. Sneaker sticks with Metzak, and he rewards his manager by striking Farmer, Barnhart and pinch-hitter Freddie Galvis for escaping the jam.
The Braves got the leadoff man in the 12th again, but could do nothing with it. D’Arnaud led solid solid to the left. Charlie Culberson pinched, but was erased on the groundout by Albiz who beat the first relay throw. Duvall and Swanson then struck again to send the game to 13th.
Shane Green made his 13th start for the Braves, impressing Cas Cas Stalenos. He then allowed Voto and Suarez back-to-back singles to put the runners on the Cincinnati corner again. Sneaker brought in the left-hander AJ Minter, who walked the Mustax after a nine-pitch on the bat. The miner Aquino was recovered to get out, and Jose Garcia, a hitter, swam to Swanson to avoid the jam.
The Braves eventually broke into the bottom of the inning. Nick Marquez led the innings with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Christian Peach. Riley followed with one to the left. Aqua then got out first in the hole on a broken bat grounder. The Reds brought in Rich Garrett to confront Firman and pull the tel Stellenos near the third to go with a five-man consumer but Freeman kept the center alone to bring the game to a merciful end.
Brave got solid pitching up and down but struggled aggressively. Atlanta managed 21 strikeouts with just six hits in 44 bat assists and just two walks. They finished 1-for-10 with the runners in the scoring position. Cincinnati handled 11 hits and three walks but was 1-for-12 with the runners in the score position. The two teams combined for a record 37 strikeouts.
Game 2 is set for Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 12:08 pm and. Ian Anderson will start the Braves while the Reds will go with Luis Castillo.