ATLANTA -- As Mike Foltynewicz enjoyed his 27th birthday on Sunday afternoon, he figured the best gift he could receive would be the opportunity to make at least one more start this season.He got it when the Braves staved off elimination by beating the Dodgers, 6-5, in Game 3 of
ATLANTA -- As Mike Foltynewicz enjoyed his 27th birthday on Sunday afternoon, he figured the best gift he could receive would be the opportunity to make at least one more start this season.
He got it when the Braves staved off elimination by beating the Dodgers, 6-5, in Game 3 of the National League Division Series Sunday night, as the right-hander will start Game 4 on Monday afternoon at SunTrust Park, manager Brian Snitker confirmed after the victory.
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"I'd rather start him than have him coming in behind somebody," Snitker said. "So he's raring to go and itching to get the ball, and it's still elimination. So we're going to try and go with the best we got."
The All-Star will be looking to extend Atlanta's season even more and distance himself from the embarrassment he felt on Thursday, when he allowed four earned runs before being pulled after just two innings of a Game 1 loss.
Foltynewicz surrendered a leadoff homer to Joc Pederson and a three-run homer to Player Page for Max Muncy before exiting. He left the 50-pitch effort looking forward to the possibility he would be asked to come back on short rest if needed on Monday.
"I just did everything I could to be ready for this moment, but things didn't work out the way I wanted out there," Foltynewicz said. "Whenever the next chance comes, I'll definitely be competing like I was [in Game 1]."
The Braves do not expect Monday's outing to be a short one. Theoretically, Julio Teheran is available to piggyback Foltynewicz, but Snitker made it clear that Teheran is a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option, not a preferred one. And after using seven pitchers in Game 3, the preference is for Foltynewicz to be his usual self, the pitcher who threw two complete games and completed at least six innings 15 times.
Foltynewicz spent the regular season proving that he is capable of handling his emotions better than he did in the past, but it didn't take long for him to realize he was adversely affected by the extra adrenaline he felt on Thursday in his first postseason appearance.
Foltynewicz said that he simply had to tip his cap when Pederson went deep against an elevated 0-2 fastball on the outside corner, but the homer appeared to get to him. Justin Turner followed with a double, and Muncy walked before an out was recorded. Foltynewicz escaped the 28-pitch first inning without further damage when Yasiel Puig swung at a 3-2 slider out of the zone with two outs and the bases loaded.
Foltynewicz retired the first two batters in the second inning, but after hitting Pederson with a 0-2 slider, he was upset that home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson did not give him a call on a 3-2 fastball to Turner. He responded by throwing a noncompetitive slider to Muncy, who drilled the fastball that followed over the wall in right-center.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.