Third time through order is trouble for Braves pitcher ‘Folty’

If Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz has a bad outing against the Twins on Wednesday, chances are the trouble will begin in the fifth or sixth inning. That’s been the pattern four of his last five starts and points to his declining effectiveness when facing batters for the third time in a game.

In 15 starts this season batters facing Foltynewicz for the first time have a .687 on-base plus slugging percentage against him. Their OPS is .700 the second time they face him and 1.034 the third time around.

All pitchers tend to suffer the same drop-off but not as sharply as Foltynewicz this season. Entering Tuesday major league hitters had a .725 OPS when facing starting pitchers the first time during a game, .750 during the second plate appearance and .792 during the third.

Foltynewicz also didn’t have the same issue in 2015, his first season as a starter in the majors. In 15 starts last season batters had a .834 OPS the first time facing Foltynewicz, .956 the second time and .823 the third time.