May 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcherJulio Teheran
(49) pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Since the moment that Julio Teheran became part of the Atlanta Braves organization, people have had extremely high expectations for him.
This Wednesday against the Pirates–for the first time in his career–he lived up to them.
Building on an already successful season, Teheran mowed through the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup, going eight complete innings on 107 pitches. He struck out eleven batters while walking just two (he also hit two batters), and giving up a single hit to Brandon Inge in the eighth inning.
With this outing, Teheran makes the choice for “best pitcher on the staff” even more difficult, but not knowing who your best pitcher is is a wonderful problem to have when they are throwing like this.
So far this season, Teheran has a 3.30 ERA, a 6.97 K/9, and a 1.90 BB/9.
For those of you who don’t know, Teheran was thought to be future ace when he was originally drafted and brought up with Atlanta. I will admit to being skeptical of those expectations after seeing him struggle through the minors and his brief appearances in the majors over the past few seasons. However, this year, he has done nothing but make Frank Wren look like a genius for pegging him as “untouchable” in trade negotiations. It seems like we held on to the best of the four (Mike Minor and Julio Teheran).
In other positive news, Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward had multi-hit games again–both tallied two hits and scored a run. The shortstop is quietly hitting .259 on the season now, and if he is able to raise his OBP a tad (currently it’s at .297) it would be just fine when you add in his fantastic defense. The argument for him leading off is still wide open however…
Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird both hit homeruns during the game to add to the lead which eventually turned into a 5-0 Atlanta victory. Gattis leads the team with 13 homeruns in 166 plate appearances, and has been better than anyone could have imagined at this point. It’s a shame we have so many good hitters on the team (not really), but it will be important to continue to give the kid at bats–I have little doubt Fredi will be able to manage that.
With this win, the Braves have now won five straight games, and are 7.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals (they will play tonight making that lead either 8 or 7 games depending on the outcome). Everything is going great for the Braves at this point, and it is good to see the team expanding on a lead that is sure to become closer as the Nationals figure out all of their issues.