After the Braves let Julio Teheran's brilliant start go to waste last night, the team will try to rally behind Mike Foltynewicz Wednesday night, with Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra looking to replicate his recent success for the Brewers.
Guerra has a history with the Braves, as the team signed him back in 2001 as a position player. He struggled with the bat for four years in Atlanta's minor league system before transitioning to the mound in 2006. After throwing just four innings for the White Sox last year, Guerra has done well with the Brewers this season, coming off of an 11-strikeout game of the Chicago Cubs — who have a much better lineup than Atlanta you might note.
Guerra works off of a fastball that has averaged just under 95 miles per hour this year. He throws that pitch 56 percent of the time, but despite its velocity, opposing batters have hit .298 against that pitch including a .532 slugging percentage and both of the home runs he has allowed so far this season. His slider and splitter have been more effective so far, with batters hitting just .111 against the former and .097 against the latter.
The split piece is his best weapon for missing bats, as it has generated whiffs 43 percent of the time when a batter swings at it — compared to a 27 percent whiff rate on the slider and a 21 percent whiff rate on the fastball.
Meanwhile, Foltynewicz has been the pitcher we've expected at this point, showing glimpses of excellence and then going out and lasting just three innings his last time out against the Pirates. He's continued to be susceptible to the long ball, and if that continues he'll likely continue to struggle.
Folty had posted a 2.89 ERA through his first three starts, so at this point the Pittsburgh game could just a blip on the radar... At the same time he compiled that impressive ERA in just 18.2 innings so we definitely need to see some more of him before we make any decisions on his abilities this season.
It should be a fun game to watch from a pitching standpoint at the very least, given the game Guerra is coming off of and the potential ceiling that Foltynewicz is going to keep trying to reach.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all of the latest.