Don't worry about Foltynewicz

Mike Foltynewicz pitched Tuesday night and struggled a bit. Don't worry about that at all.

The line for Mike Foltynewicz Tuesday night was not pretty. He allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings pitched, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

It was Foltynewicz's first loss this season, as Atlanta lost to Tampa Bay 5-3.

And to borrow Rhett Butler's line... Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

I'm not saying I want the Braves to lose. I don't. I want them to win. I want Foltynewicz's line to be great every time out. But this initial stint for Foltynewicz is more than about what his line is every time out. It's about him preparing for the future. It's about him getting better.

And don't get me wrong. Foltynewicz has been really impressive so far. His ERA is 5.32. I don't care. Sure, it would be nice if it were 2.32, but it's not. I have seen enough of this kid to believe he's got a great chance of being successful moving forward.

He's got 23 strikeouts in 22 innings. Now that gets my attention. Folty has a chance to be a strikeout pitcher, so for him to average one strikeout per inning is impressive. Even Tuesday night, as he was getting hit a bit, he had seven strikeouts. That's a good sign.

After the game Foltynewicz talked about learning more about what he had done wrong, about how he could get better from getting hit around a bit. He said all the right things.

Foltynewicz is going to struggle at times. So did Tom Glavine. So did John Smoltz. That's what young pitchers do when they first come up. So no one needs to panic when Folty gives up five runs in five innings.

This is the season for Foltynewicz to learn and get better. It is NOT going to be a season where the Braves challenge for a World Series. They're not going to come out and say that. The manager is not going to talk about it. But it's the way it is. This is a transition season for this franchise, and you don't mind a pitcher like Foltynewicz getting some experience and taking his bumps and bruises.

So don't panic about Foltynewicz giving up five runs in five innings. He's not a finished product. Just because he's graduated to the big leagues does not mean Folty is finished getting better. Pitchers should never finish getting better, especially when you're a young kid with great raw stuff like Foltynewicz.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

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