There’s no way that anyone thought that after one full season in the major leagues, Julio Teheran would be the ace of the Atlanta Braves‘ pitching staff. Yet, like a star in the clear Georgia sky, he has shone quite brightly in his first starts of the 2014 season. The most impressive of those starts coming on a frigid night against Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies.
He was perfect through his first four innings before giving up a base hit to Ryan Howard in the fifth inning and didn’t allow another base runner until Carlos Ruiz got himself a base knock. When Jimmy Rollins singled with two outs in the ninth inning, he would be the third and last player to reach base in the game.
The clear show of dominance of the Phillies just explains how good Teheran can be when he is on his game. For the first three starts that he made, he had to absolutely battle with his pitch location. This was a different story.
What made him so much better this time around, though? He only struck out four batters, which is fairly low for Teheran when he has his good stuff. However, his fastball and changeup were in sync and he got more easy outs than he has gotten all season. It’s quite relieving to watch a young guy like Teheran gut out in performance after performance, then go out against a lineup that includes the likes of Rollins, Howard and Chase Utley and absolutely dominate.
The Braves may not be getting exactly what they thought they were getting in Teheran. Yes, he’s been their No. pitcher this season. They most likely believed that they were going to get the man that could keep them in games with his ability to strikeout a number of batters per game. Not the case at all. They have a 23-year-old young man who has gutted his way through starts and helped his team get off to a 10-4 record in 2014.