ATLANTA -- Mike Foltynewicz didn't get the ultimate result he wanted. But after being undone by some adversity during the early portion of Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Marlins at SunTrust Park, he gave the Braves exactly what they wanted as he showed the resiliency that has been absent through much of his still-blossoming career.
"He's got to learn how to start how he ended because in between, he was pretty good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He was mixing pitches and kind of staying within himself with a nice rhythm. The ball was coming out really good."
Encouraged by the strides he made since feeling lost through the middle of August, Foltynewicz's confidence was enhanced by the fact he had recorded a career-best 11 strikeouts against this same Marlins club just a month ago.
All seemed right as Foltynewicz touched 100 mph during the first inning and retired five of the first six batters faced. But he then appeared to have lingering consequences after the two-out, second-inning walk issued after getting ahead of Ichiro Suzuki with an 0-2 count. Miguel Rojas followed with an RBI single and Jose Urena then took advantage of a get-me-over 92 mph fastball as he drove in another run with a single.
"That's the point of the game, where you're like, 'Dang,' and you're shaking your head." Foltynewicz said. "You go 0-2 and you walk [Suzuki], and then you leave a pitch over the middle of the plate and a little up for them to put damage on it. With the pitcher, it's just one of those things this year where it's tough for me."
Derek Dietrich opened the third with a homer and Christian Yelich followed with a double. But just when it seemed Foltynewicz was destined to exit before the end of the fifth for the third time in his past six starts, he found confidence in his slider and proceeded to retire 12 of the last 13 batters he faced, including six of the last nine via strikeout.
"He got going and found a rhythm," Snitker said. "It's just one of those things where he kind of went out and was overexerting, probably trying to throw too hard. Then, he gets his rhythm and things start flowing and you're out of pitches."
Foltynewicz couldn't erase what transpired during that six-batter span that accounted for all of the damage incurred within this six-inning stint that was marred by three runs. But as he moves toward the final four starts of his first full Major League season, he can be encouraged by the resiliency displayed during the latter portion of this latest start.
As he dissected his effort, he was encouraged by the success he had with his changeup, curveball and slider, which he threw 32 times -- his second-highest total of the season. His ability to utilize his complete arsenal allowed him to record a combination of 37 swings and misses and called strikes -- the second-highest combined total of his career.
"I don't think he realizes what he has, really," Snitker said. "Sometimes 95 [mph] with location is better than 100 [mph] if you're just throwing it in there. He's learning. I keep saying it and it sounds like a broken record, but you keep running them out there and hopefully they figure it out."