WASHINGTON -- Following his one-inning performance at the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night, an 8-6 American League win, Mike Foltynewicz wanted to make it known that he does, indeed, get nervous. He definitely feels the pressure.And although any part of the stout American League lineup would
WASHINGTON -- Following his one-inning performance at the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night, an 8-6 American League win, Mike Foltynewicz wanted to make it known that he does, indeed, get nervous. He definitely feels the pressure.
And although any part of the stout American League lineup would have been tough to face, when Foltynewicz entered the game in the fourth inning, he definitely had his work cut out for him.
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With Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge and Manny Machado coming up, the first-time All-Star looked collected and ready. There were no nerves in sight as he struck out Ramirez with just three four-seam fastballs that topped out at 98 mph, a staple for Foltynewicz.
But he would be the first to say there might have been a good amount of nervous energy coursing through his veins as he ran out for his first All-Star appearance. After his outing he laughed, saying he was pretty glad his night was over after one inning.
"You can see we're all human out there. We're all nervous as heck," Foltynewicz said, holding his 5-month-old son, Jett. "We're all human at the end of the day, just going out there and playing a kid's game."
After striking out Ramirez, Foltynewicz walked Judge, someone he hopes Jett will look up to one day.
"At the end of the day," Foltynewicz said, "I didn't want to walk anybody, and unfortunately I walked one of the best hitters in the league."
After issuing the free pass to Judge, Foltynewicz induced hot commodity Machado to pop up a 90-mph slider to Nolan Arenado at third base for the next out. He then came back with the slider, finding success with the pitch again against Jose Abreu, who flied out to Bryce Harper in center field to end Foltynewicz's All-Star night.
But the success of his sliders was not what Foltynewicz took from the experience. It was his support group, both in the stands and on the field, that made it all the more meaningful -- and maybe help with those pesky nerves, too.
"My parents traveling 12 hours just to see me throw one inning is incredible. For little Jett to be here, he isn't going to realize or know anything, but we have all the pictures and video to prove it," he said. "I'm glad I got to be here, especially with Freddie, Nick and Ozzie. It's just good to see them out there as well."
After launching 12 home runs in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby 24 hours before, Freddie Freeman made his first start at an All-Star Game, went 0-for-2, flying out to center field in the first inning before grounding out to second in the third.
Freeman, who was the Braves' lone All-Star representative for a few years, said getting to share the experience meant a lot to him.
"Spending it with three of my teammates for the first time has definitely been a lot of fun," Freeman said. "I feel like we did good, and hopefully everybody enjoyed our show."
Ozzie Albies was definitely one for fun over the past few days of his first All-Star appearance, introducing himself to anyone he could before taking in a few innings at second base, going 0-for-1 with a sharp ground ball to second in the seventh inning.
He spent time in the dugout picking the brain of fellow Curacaoan Kenley Jansen -- "Talking about everything. Baseball-wise, home-wise, how it's going this season."
And like Foltynewicz, a highlight of the experience was the presence of his family.
"That's the most exciting thing for me," he said.
Nick Markakis, dubbed by many the most experienced first-time All-Star -- having played in more than 1,900 games while garnering more than 2,000 hits in his 13-season career -- went 0-for-1, flying out to left field in the second inning before drawing a walk in the fourth.
Markakis is already looking forward to the possibility of coming back.
"It's been an experience I'll never forget," Markakis said. "You don't know what the future holds, so hopefully one day I'll be able to get back here and enjoy it again."
Tori McElhaney is a reporter for MLB.com.