On Friday night, the Atlanta Braves faced the Miami Marlins at Turner Field where the main event was on the mound. Rookie pitchers Julio Teheran and Jose Fernandez found themselves in a face off that led to 16 strikeouts and only seven hits between the two.
Fernandez entered the game with a 2.30 earned run average with 10 wins and five losses, having never lost at home. With a .82 ERA in the month of August though, the 6’ 2” 240 pound Cuban pitcher looked ready to take on the Braves on their home turf. Teheran looked to stop him.
Teheran entered the game with a 3.08 ERA after a rough outing against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he had been rock solid since the second half. He struggled with command at times, walking three batters, but he was dominant regardless, striking out eight and giving up no runs. It was a clutch performance; Teheran knew he couldn’t afford to give up many runs against Fernandez. Once Freddie Freeman gave the Braves a two run lead in the bottom of the first with a home run, Teheran knew he had been given his lead and it was his job to hold it.
Fernandez has been right at the top of the list of NL Rookie Of The Year discussions, especially with the issues the Los Angeles Dodgers have been having with Yasiel Puig, and Friday’s performance certainly didn’t hurt his chances. Against a team that almost has more home wins than his has altogether, giving up only two runs is an impressive feat. If anything though, Friday’s match up strengthened Teheran’s argument for ROY. He’s certainly not at the top of the list right now, but if he continues to do stump lineups into October then he’s got a shot.