Mike Foltynewicz was the hero in Game 2 for the Atlanta Braves with the stellar pitching performance he put on against the St. Louis Cardinals. After losing the first game, Folty may have saved the season for the Braves.
After losing Game 1, and with Jack Flaherty on the mound for the Cardinals, the hottest pitcher the last two months of the regular season, the Braves were requiring a big-time performance from Mike Foltynewicz in Game 2 to stave off possible elimination when the series shifting back to St. Louis. Folty did more than give the Braves a big-time performance. He had the game of his life.
After being demoted to AAA in July for poor performance, Mike Foltynewicz looked like he didn’t have shot to make the playoff roster. Since then, he has looked like a different pitcher, the pitcher that was the Braves ace last season. Since August 5th, Folty has gone 7-1 with 2.37 ERA.
Even with the great performance from Folty in August and September, the Braves were underdogs in the series after losing Game 1. With Jack Flaherty on the mound for the Cardinals, Folty was going to need to match the St. Louis ace pitch for pitch. In the end, Folty would outpitch the Cardinals pitcher.
In a must-win game for the Braves, Mike Foltynewicz pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball with 7 strikeouts. Folty only needed 81 pitches to get through the 7 innings. Folty becomes the first Braves pitcher to throw 7 shutout innings since Tom Glavine 2001. Folty looked more calm and composed yesterday than I’ve ever seen him as a Braves pitcher. It was an incredible performance from the Braves starter.
Even with the great pitching performance from Folty, the Braves still had a fight to get the win in Game 2. The Braves got to Jack Flaherty in the first inning, with a Josh Donaldson RBI, but were shut down through most of the game. It wasn’t until Adam Duvall, pinch-hitting for Folty in the 8th, hit a two-run home run to extend the lead to 3-0.
After the bullpen imploded in Game 1, they stepped up in a big way in Game 2. Max Fried has a chance to be an x-factor for the Braves in the postseason. With Chris Martin exiting the series with an injury, Julio Teheran was called up, allowing Fried to fill an essential slot in the bullpen as the “high leverage” guy out of the bullpen. Just like his Game 1 performance, Fried pitched a clean 8th inning with two strikeouts.
Mark Melancon, the losing pitcher in Game 1, came back in Game 2 with the game on the line. It took Melancon 22 pitches, but eventually, he would shut down the Cardinals to end the game, evening up the series at 1-1.
Mike Foltynewicz was the star of Game 2 but it was a complete team performance for the Braves. With the Cardinals’ best pitcher going in Game 2, the Braves could have easily lost both home games. Going down 2-0 in a best-of-five series would have been a death sentence. With the win, the series is even and now the Braves have their ace, Mike Soroka, going in Game 3. Things are looking a lot brighter than Thursday.