With dreadful weather in Pittsburgh on Friday, with a projected temperature of 38 degrees at game time and a brisk 22 mph wind with a chance of snow, Mike Foltynewicz will toe the rubber for the Atlanta Braves in the series opener against the Pirates.
The game is still set to be played, however.
Foltynewicz gets the ball today a day earlier than expected, as the Braves swapped his and R.A. Dickey’s turns in the rotation to give Dickey the chance to pitch his first game in more favorable conditions, as his primary pitch, a knuckleball, is hard to control in cold, damp conditions.
Foltynewicz put together a strong spring training circuit, as he posted a 2.66 ERA over 23 2⁄3 innings in six starts and did nothing to jeopardize his projected spot in Atlanta’s starting five.
The Braves will take on Ivan Nova, making his first start of the season for Pirates. While Nova has been an above average pitcher for much of his career, Atlanta hitters will be glad to face someone not a potential Cy Young candidate, like they did against the Mets’ in the season’s opening series, as Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey all threw well in their outings.
Nova was traded to the Pirates in August last season, and in 11 starts, compiled a 5-2 record with a nice 3.06 ERA. Of those 11 starts, he pitched a complete game three times.
The game will mark the second home opener the Braves have participated in so far, as the Pirates opened with a pair of losses in Boston to the Red Sox, before weather postponed yesterday’s contest.