ATLANTA -- Mike Foltynewicz was not initially happy about exiting a start he was dominating. But the Braves' right-hander knows the cautious decision might have been exactly what he needed to remain healthy throughout the remainder of what is shaping up to be a pretty impressive season.Foltynewicz carried a no-hit
ATLANTA -- Mike Foltynewicz was not initially happy about exiting a start he was dominating. But the Braves' right-hander knows the cautious decision might have been exactly what he needed to remain healthy throughout the remainder of what is shaping up to be a pretty impressive season.
Foltynewicz carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning of Tuesday's 8-2 win over the Mets and then did not return for the start of the sixth inning. The reason for his exit remained a mystery until the Braves announced he had tightness in his right triceps muscle.
"The biggest concern was if he was adjusting his delivery," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We thought if it was uncomfortable, he'd do something different. So after five, we just erred on the side of caution."
Concern quickly subsided after the game when both Snitker and Foltynewicz said the right-hander would certainly make his next start, which is currently slated for Tuesday in Toronto.
"There's no doubt, I'll make that next start," Foltynewicz said.
Foltynewicz began feeling triceps tightness when he completed a bullpen session this past weekend at Dodger Stadium. Braves pitching coach Chuck Hernandez recognized him changing arm slots during that session and again as Tuesday night's start progressed.
"[Hernandez] didn't want two or three more innings to affect the rest of my career," Foltynewicz said. "I was a little ticked off, but they know what is best."
Foltynewicz grounded out in the bottom of the fifth inning before his short conference with Hernandez led to the decision to pull him after just 73 pitches. Snitker said they allowed him to bat because they did not believe he could aggravate the injury while swinging.
"I felt great out there," Foltynewicz said. "It's just when you got to come and sit down out there and get it warmed up again, it's a little tough because of where the spot is. My arm felt good when I was out there. We were still hitting 97 and 99, when I needed it. I was more impressed with all the offspeed working with the tightness."
Foltynewicz described the discomfort level as "one out of 10." He certainly didn't seem to be affected as his fastball topped out at 99.5 mph and sat around 96 mph throughout most of his five innings. He hit Michael Conforto with a changeup to begin the game and then retired 13 straight batters before allowing Devin Mesoraco and Dominic Smith to notch consecutive one-out singles in a scoreless fifth.
This had been shaping up to be the latest gem produced by Foltynewicz, who has posted a 2.16 ERA and limited opponents to a .199 batting average through 14 starts.
"I thought tonight was one of his better, if not best pitching performances in terms of changing speeds, hitting spots and executing pitches in situations," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Hopefully, he learns something from that, that he doesn't always have to reach back for 100. He can locate with 95 and get some outs."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.