Wow. THAT was an old-timey pitcher’s duel.
Mike Foltynewicz took a no hitter into the top of the ninth, and Sonny Gray took the tough luck loss as Atlanta won the opening game of the series 3-1. Folty was Filty, retiring the first 12 A’s, and wound up surrendering only 4 walks and a 9th inning lead-off homer to A’s first baseman Matt Olson. Jim Johnson came on to make it interesting, giving up a double to Jed Lowrie on the first pitch, but then settled down and struck out the side to nail down the win.
Gray was almost as good as Folty, going eight innings and allowing only two hits, but they were fortunately spaced for Atlanta. They came in the third, with a Johan Carmago double, follwed by a Dansby Swanson double to take a 1-0 lead. And there it stayed, as Gray did not allow another Atlanta baserunner.
In the top of the 9th, Oakland sent Sean Doolittle to the mound, and he gave up the difference makers. Swanson led off with a walk. Ender Inciarte forced him at second with a bunt attempt, but then stole second. Brandon Phillips singled him home, and then Matt Kemp singled in Phillips.
It seemed the lengthy top of the 9th may have taken it’s toll on Folty, as Olson battled him for 9 pitches before finally homering on Folty’s 119th pitch of the evening. Nike struck out 8 A’s to go against his one hit allowed and 4 walks. He looked to be in control of himself and was the dominant starter we all know he can be. Anyway, Oakland will now have to turn around and figure out R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball after a steady diet of 95+ gas. Win, win, win. I can get used to this.