The Jewish Sport Report: For Max Fried and Dean Kremer’s Passover dominance, dayenu


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(JTA) — Hello! We’re excited to be back from our Passover hiatus with the latest Jewish sports news. Let’s jump right in.

A stellar week for MLB’s two Jewish aces

Max Fried

Max Fried pitches during Game 5 of the NLCS between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium, Oct. 21, 2021. (Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried produced one of the more dazzling performances you’ll ever see in his Tuesday night win over the Miami Marlins: Fried threw a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits while striking out six.

The most impressive part? He did it all in only 92 pitches, earning the lefty his third career “Maddux,” a feat named for Hall of Famer Greg Maddux that represents the rarity of a complete game shutout in under 100 pitches. According to Baseball Reference, Fried became the 41st pitcher in MLB history with three “Madduxes.” Maddux himself leads the history books with 15, while Sandy Koufax threw five. (MLB added pitch count as an official stat in 1988.)

With Braves star Spencer Strider out for the year with an elbow injury, MLB’s best team will look to Fried, the 2022 NL Cy Young runner-up, to anchor the rotation going forward.

In the American League, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer earned his first win of the season on Wednesday as he struck out 10 across 5.1 innings as the Os beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-5. It was only the second time the Team Israel alum has reached double-digit strikeouts in his 75 career starts.

There must be something in the matzah!

Halftime report

BENCHED. As pro-Palestinian protests continue to spread across college campuses, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he is pausing his support for Columbia University, his alma mater to which he has donated millions of dollars. Kraft said Columbia, where the Jewish student life center and a sports field are named after him, “is no longer an institution I recognize.” Meanwhile, at Thursday’s NFL Draft, members of Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism were given the honor of announcing the Patriots’ No. 3 overall pick.

BADER MAKES A STATEMENT. New York Mets outfielder Harrison Bader has gotten off to a solid start with his new team, hitting .278 with 20 hits in 20 games. But it’s Bader’s sartorial choices that have earned the 29-year-old clout among Jewish fans. Earlier this season, Bader showed a fan a dog-tag necklace he was wearing in support of the hostages in Gaza, and last week, he was seen sporting a Star of David on his belt.

RIP. Brooklyn Dodgers great Carl Erskine died last week at 97, and my colleague Andrew Silow-Carroll penned a touching tribute for the last surviving member of the iconic “Boys of Summer” Dodger teams of the 1950s. “Erskine’s death seemed to close a storied chapter in New York and, dare I say it, Jewish history,” Silow-Carroll writes.

ICYMI. On the topic of remembering baseball legends, Jewish ace Ken Holtzman, the winningest Jewish pitcher ever, died April 14 at 78. Holtzman threw two no-hitters, won four World Series rings and beat Sandy Koufax head-to-head once across 15 seasons in the 1960s and 1970s.

YIKES. A former Baltimore-area high school athletic director was arrested Thursday and charged with using AI to fake antisemitic and racist comments attributed to the school’s principal.

CASE CLOSED. The Justice Department announced this week that it had agreed to pay nearly $139 million to victims of former Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Two-time Olympian Aly Raisman has been on the forefront of the legal battle and the broader effort for increased accountability and transparency at USA Gymnastics.

🇬🇧 → 🇮🇱 The Israel-Premier Tech cycling team signed up-and-coming British cyclist Joe Blackmore, a 21-year-old who has four pro wins so far in 2024, including at this month’s Circuit des Ardennes in France. The team is owned by Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams, a philanthropist and cycling champion who has boosted the sport’s profile in Israel.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend (all times ET)


It’s round one of the NHL playoffs, and a number of Jewish players are seeking a shot at Stanley Cup glory. Adam Fox and the New York Rangers are up 2-0 against the Washington Capitals — Game 3 is tonight at 7 p.m.; Game 4 is Sunday at 8 p.m. Jason Zucker’s Nashville Predators host Quinn Hughes, Mark Friedman and the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of their 1-1 series tonight at 7:30 p.m., with Game 4 Sunday at 5 p.m. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers face the Los Angeles Kings tonight at 10:30 p.m. in their 1-1 series; Game 4 is Sunday at 10:30 p.m.


The recently called-up Matt Mervis and his Chicago Cubs face the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series this weekend. Mervis’s MLB career is off to a slow start, but with Cubs star Cody Bellinger sidelined with a rib injury, this could be the Team Israel alum’s chance to prove himself. Jake Bird and the Colorado Rockies host Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros tomorrow and Sunday. Harrison Bader and the New York Mets host the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game set.


In the Premier League, Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest host Man City Sunday at 11:30 a.m. In the MLS, Daniel Edelman’s New York Red Bulls, Zac MacMath’s Real Salt Lake, DeAndre Yedlin’s F.C. Cincinnati and Steve Birnbaum’s D.C. United are all in action Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


Ben Silverman and Daniel Berger are both competing at the PGA’s Zurich Classic this weekend in New Orleans.


Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen in search of a snack, only to remember it’s Passover? So you (perhaps reluctantly) grab a piece of matzah and hold it in your mouth while you close the box.

I’ve definitely been there. And so, apparently, has Houston Astros star Alex Bregman. Here he is before Thursday’s Cubs-Astros matchup. It seemed to work: Bregman racked up two hits in the game.

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