Dominant Teheran helps Atlanta Braves snap streak in San Diego

Jun 8, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Braves end road trip on a high note thanks to Teheran’s effort against the Friars

Julio Teheran is going to get Shelby Miller’d, but how?

That’s been my thought each time Julio has turned in a strong performance since the end of April.

No matter how well he pitches—take his May 1 seven-inning gem against the Cubs that resulted in a no-decision thanks to bullpen implosion, or his May 24 stymieing—is that a word? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯—of the Brewers ruined by Bud Norris (who should market that as a fragrance line), Julio arrived at a 1-6 record entering Wednesday’s contest against the Padres thanks to some comically bad luck and some cosmically terrible hitting.

Despite Atlanta’s recent lack of success against in San Diego, the Padres, bless their hearts, are still the Padres and they can still be as rancid a baseball team as you’ll find. That was displayed in a 4-2 Braves victory that snapped a six-game losing streak and sends the Braves back to the Peach State on a high note after a disheartening road trip. In the process, Atlanta snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Padres that dated back to August 2012.

(We should’ve known this would be a different kind of game when Snoop Dogg or Lion or whatever, let’s just go with Snoop, threw out the first pitch.)

Ender Inciarte and Chase d’Arnaud were catalysts at the top of the lineup, securing three hits apiece, with Inciarte falling a home run short of the cycle. More than that, they forced Drew Pomeranz (who entered play allowing opponents to hit .163) to throw a ton of pitches—over five innings, Pomeranz threw 96 pitches, including 25 pitches just to get out of the first inning. The Braves 14 hits were the second-most by the club in 2016.

d’Arnaud’s recent performance bears more than a cursory mention. While his .420 BABIP is unsustainable (holy cow, is it ever), there are some encouraging signs to go along with his .382 performance over the last eight games. His line drive rate and ground-ball rate are both above league-average, huge for a guy with limited power, since it means he’s not popping up all the time.

There was some defense in this game, on both sides. See Melvin rob Freddie Freeman of a homer. See Adonis bare-hand the deflected grounder. See Alexi Amarista bare-hand a slow roller to nail Daniel Castro. See Adonis (have you a fielding day, Adonis) snare a liner and unleash a Rafael Furcal-esque rocket to first for the double play.

(I’d embed all these, but Melvin’s is the only one available for embed on at this time and I’m not giving him the satisfaction.)

Teheran Tears up the Friars

While a good offense and surprisingly adept defense aided in victory, it was the eight innings of five-hit, two-earned baseball from Julio Teheran that earned that win. Teheran struck out a season-high eight and has entered that realm where not only does he need to pitch amazingly every time out to give Atlanta a chance… he’s starting to deliver those consistently good performances.

Julio helped himself at the dish as well, going 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

It wasn’t all roses for Julio, who got absolutely rocked twice for long home runs by Wil Myers. He extricated himself from a shaky situation in the seventh after Melvin singled and stole second with one away, needing several pitches to do so. He was somewhat surprisingly sent back for the eighth with 98 pitches already on the odometer, but sat down the side including the aforementioned Myers for a quick frame.

In the ninth, Arodys Vizcaino got some sweet redemption. After giving up the lead and eventually the game Tuesday, a one-out walk was his only blemish as he nailed down his seventh save—a particularly satisfying save, with Melvin and former Atlanta top prospect Christian Bethancourt making the final two outs for the Friars.

The Braves get Thursday off before a date with Jason Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA) and the Cubs, Friday. Norris is scheduled to ruin your Friday evening by making the start for the Braves.