I owe Mike Foltynewicz an apology. After his Episode last month against the Giants, I expressed that if he didn’t get it togetherand got sent to the pen or Kansas City I wouldn’t miss him.
So, I was wrong.
All he has done since then is to go 3-1, and lower his ERA from 3.65 to 2.22 while giving up 2 whole earned runs in 31 innings. While he has walked 13 in those 31 innings, he has only given up 17 hits.
Anyway, last night was without much doubt, the high point of Folty’s career. He posted a Game Score of (if my math is correct) of 93, which according to Chip ‘n Joe ‘n Frenchy, the highest by a Braves starter since some guy named Maddux back in 2001.
The Gnats managed to ‘rough up’ Folty in the first, when Bryce Harper singled on a 3-2 pitch with one out. The next Gnats base runner was Juan Soto, who drew a lead-off walk in the 8th, 20 batters later. Brian Goodwin then had almost the worst stretch of four pitches a major leaguer can have. With Folty having gone to 2-0 and showing evidence of a touch of wildness, Goodwin check swung at ball three and fouled it off. On the next pitch he grounded to Ozzie Albies who got Soto at second. Then, Goodwin got picked off when he was staring at the popcorn vendor in the stands or something. For his rewards he got benched double switched for in the bottom of the inning.
The only other damage came with two out in the 9th, when Trea Turner dribbled a 0-2 pitch into left. But Folty struck out Harper to end the game, with a 99 mph heater followed by a filthy (Folthy?) slider.
Stephen Strasberg matched Folty through 6 innings, but in the 7th the Braves finally got to him. Nick Markakis led off with a single, and went to third on Kurt Suzuki‘s single. Johan Camargo hit a grounder that Matt Adams booted to score Neck. Then Dansby Swanson homered off Strasberg to make it 4-0. Strasberg left the game with hurt feelings ‘cramps’ after going to 0-1 on Ender Inciarte.
All in all, a great game to watch, and I’m glad that I was wrong about Foltynewicz. He, along with Sean Newcomb, are turning into a good duo to build a rotation around. More importantly, we’re a game and a half up on the Natspos, so a win tonight against Gio Gonzalez will guarantee the Braves leave town in first.