ATLANTA — A day dominated by great pitching ended with the thrill of the walk-off single by Freddie Freeman to give the Braves a 1-0 win in 13 innings over Reds in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series on Wednesday afternoon at Truist Park.
ATLANTA — A day dominated by great pitching ended with the thrill of the walk-off single by
Nick Markakis singled to begin the bottom of the 13th against Archie Bradley and was replaced by pinch-runner Cristian Pache. Pache advanced to second base on an Austin Riley single, then moved to third on Ronald Acuña Jr.’s fielder’s choice. He scored when Freeman hit his game-winner to center off Amir Garrett.
“It was a very stressful 4 1/2 hours,” Freeman said. “Whatever emotions you feel, you just try to ride that wave. When it gets to the sixth, seventh and eighth innings with it still 0-0, I think everybody is on pins and needles. That’s just how it is, especially in a playoff game.”
According to STATS, this was the first playoff game to remain scoreless through the first 11 innings. The two teams also combined for a postseason record 37 strikeouts.
Showing no signs of rust, Max Fried allowed six hits over seven scoreless innings. The Braves lefty had totaled just six innings dating back to when his lower back began bothering him during a Sept. 5 start. But he looked quite comfortable as he completed his first career postseason start and traded zeroes with Trevor Bauer.
Bauer allowed two hits and recorded 12 strikeouts over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. This marked the first time since Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard in the 2016 NL Wild Card Game that both starters threw seven or more innings of scoreless ball in a postseason game.
While the spotlight was shined on the starters, Braves reliever Tyler Matzek assumed a key role, entering in the top of the 11th with two outs and the bases loaded to strike out Mike Moustakas. Matzek, who returned to the Majors this year for the first time since 2015, also recorded three straight strikeouts after allowing consecutive singles to begin the 12th.
A.J. Minter followed Matzek’s lead by ending the threat the Reds produced with two consecutive one-out singles off Shane Greene in the 13th. Minter walked Moustakas before retiring Aristides Aquino and Jose Garcia to end the inning.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.