A day after Mike Minor had a pretty bad pitching performance, Julio Teheran had a pretty great one. He threw six shutout innings while letting up just seven hits and one walk. He struck out eight batters in the game (at one point I believe he struck out five in a row).
With the young pitcher leading the team, the Braves managed to shutout the San Francisco Giants 3-0 and win the third game of their series.
Through the first few innings it was smooth sailing for the young pitcher and throughout his entire outing he showed great command of all of his pitches. I was particularly impressed with his breaking ball and just the way he was attacking Giants batters. He moved the ball up, in, out, and down with great control and variation of pitches. Pretty much everything you would like to see out of a young potential ace pitcher, Teheran did.
A great point for him came in his last inning where he got into his biggest jam of the game. The first two batters got on base with singles, and Teheran managed to strike out the next two to get back in control. Joaquin Arias singled to load the bases and after a mound visit, Teheran got Nick Noonan to pop out to left field and end the threat.
On the offensive side it was a decent night. Freddie Freeman continued to produce with runners on base, driving in Andrelton Simmons in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. In the third inning BJ Upton continued his solid play of late with an RBI double to give the Braves a bit more wiggle room.
The Braves wouldn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth when Jordan Schafer scored Ramiro Pena from third on a suicide squeeze. Pena reached third on a single and a throwing error by Andres Torres. It’s worth noting that Schafer and Pena have been playing great off the bench for Atlanta this season.
Pena is hitting .278/.330/.443 while playing good defense wherever he is placed, and Schafer is hitting .302/.402/.438 in 115 plate appearances. Between Pena, Schafer, and Evan Gattis the Braves could have one of the stronger benches in baseball even if two guys are rarely ever used (Reed Johnson and Gerald Laird)
The bullpen came in and finished the job Teheran started, with Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden, and Craig Kimbrel each dominating the opposing hitters. The trio combined for three innings and four strikeouts while giving up nothing. No walks, no hits, no runs. I think it’s about time we stopped worrying about the bullpen.
It was really a fantastic pitching performance all-around for the Braves as it has been for much of the year.
With this win the Braves take the series from San Francisco and have won 15 of their past 18 home games.