Folty feels 'pretty close' to old form after start

May 8th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- After three comeback wins over the Twins on the last road trip, the Rangers weren’t quite able to replicate that magic at home as Texas fell to the Mariners 5-4 on Friday night at Globe Life Field. 

The Rangers scored at least one run in each of the first three innings, but the Mariners proceeded to tie the game twice themselves before taking the lead for good. Texas starter Mike Foltynewicz went 6 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits. His two homers surrendered pushed him to 11 on the season, tying him for the Major League lead.

Manager Chris Woodward said that Foltynewicz made some good pitches, but just didn’t execute them all well and Seattle was able to take advantage of it.

“Folty, in some of his starts, he's given up runs, but it's been a little bit unlucky,” Woodward said. “They just happened to hit his mistakes, but overall, I thought he was decent. He pitched pretty well to get into the seventh inning. Overall, it was a decent start and gave us the chance to win.”

Foltynewicz said that he felt good all day leading up to the game, and agreed that he’s been unlucky in most of his outings. Having recorded just one win to go with three losses, he's also earned a no-decision three times, including one Friday.

Woodward said that as Foltynewicz continues to try to return to his 2018 form -- when he was a National League All-Star with the Braves -- he also needs to rediscover consistency on the mound. Foltynewicz is confident that he’s close to that form.  

“The stuff's very close,” Foltynewicz said. “I mean, last year was just a weird year for me with everything, but I still kept going strong. Now it's just getting more comfortable, [getting] into games. All this stuff is kind of clicking for me and I’m just kind of putting it all together. Not to be cocky or arrogant or anything, but we were pretty close.”

Nate Lowe's home run in the third inning to deep center field is the longest by a Rangers hitter in the short existence of Globe Life Field at a projected 451 feet, according to Statcast.

The Rangers put themselves in position to take the lead multiple times, but they weren’t able to push the go-ahead or tying run across. Outfielder Adolis García, who was 2-for-4 on the night, was picked off twice -- once with one out and the other with two -- both times deflating the momentum for Texas.

“We feel like we gave a few outs away there on the bases,” Woodward said. “At the time, we had the lead, but we saw what happened. We were a base hit or a bloop away or a homer away from tying it and [García] got a little bit careless I thought, especially the second time.”

With runners on the corners and a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Texas once again failed to get a runner across with Willie Calhoun grounding into a double play to end the inning. And Rangers hitters struck out three times in the bottom of the ninth inning, two of which stranded a runner in scoring position. 

Woodward said that he was disappointed in some of the at-bats the third time through the lineup, despite the early success that the Rangers had. 

“We got a little bit loose,” Woodward said. “I thought, you know, first-pitch swings at breaking balls that I don't think we're going out there looking for. The weak ground balls and weak contact -- at that point, we were hitting it really hard the first time around and we have to stick to our plan right there, but we didn’t do that.”