In his last start, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran nearly joined an elite list when he sniffed a no-hitter, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out a career-high 11 batters in a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The question is, how will he follow up that amazing performance? Will he continue to make the competition look weak, or will he ultimately fade into obscurity?
His first step towards one or the other takes place on Monday in San Diego, when the San Diego Padres host the Braves in the first game of a three-game series.
And while all of Atlanta’s eyes will be on Teheran, the Padres will turn to former Braves starter Jason Marquis — who is 7-2 with a 3.73 ERA, and has won six straight decisions since his last loss on Apr. 22 — to try and continue their climb up the ladder in the National League West, where they sit just six games behind the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks and 4.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, who are tied for second.
Marquis has been better away from home, but it isn’t a very sizable difference, so in this matchup of two hot hurlers, it will likely come down to which team is able to hit the ball.
San Diego got plenty of offense its last time out, albeit in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies, while the Braves are coming off an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game that saw second baseman Dan Uggla crack two home runs and first baseman Freddie Freeman go 2-for-5 with three RBIs as he continues to assert himself as one of the best hitters in the NL.
In this case of streaking starters, which team will strike first?