For all of the talk about how the Braves need a top-of-the-rotation starter, the guys currently under contract are doing pretty damn well. Last night, Mike Minor pitched a gem to shut down a potent Cardinals offense. Today, Julio Teheran upstaged fellow youngster Joe Kelly to give the Braves a series win. Perhaps the current members of the Braves rotation have grown annoyed at the recent chatter. Perhaps there already are two top-of-the-rotation arms in Atlanta.

Whatever the case, Teheran was fantastic this afternoon. He ran into some 1st inning trouble, when Matt Holliday doubled and Allen Craig walked, but a nice snag on a Yadier Molina line drive got him out of trouble. And then it was cruise control. Over the next 6 innings the 22-year old surrendered a lone hit while striking out 6. He didn’t walk anyone else either. This was as good as Teheran has looked since the Pirates game in June, and it came against one of the best offenses in baseball. The kid looks legit.

On the other side of the ledger, the Braves offense did what it always seems to do: strand a prodigious number of runners on base. Fredi Gonzalez put together a great lineup; and Cardinals pitchers posted only two 1-2-3 innings on the day; and even one of those necessitated a double play to remain so. But Atlanta just couldn’t get anyone home. Evan Gattis stranded a runner in the 1st; Andrelton Simmons and Teheran each stranded 2 runners in the 2nd; Simmons stranded 2 more runners in the 4th; Brian McCann and Dan Uggla each stranded a runner in the 6th; and Justin Upton, who looks broken again, hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the 7th. As in so many games gone by, Braves hitters  couldn’t get the timely hit to take the lead.

Until the 8th, anyway. In that inning Atlanta once again loaded the bases, only this time Simmons came through with a 2-run double. That was it for the scoring, though, as Jose Constanza fell back into line and stranded 2 more guys on the very next at bat. Still, we’ll take it. Andrelton has struggled mightily at the plate – and it’s hard to say his .239 BABIP is all tough luck, as a 19% infield fly percentage will suppress that number – but very quietly, he’s having a decent month with the bat. Hopefully the power he has shown this month will stick around, because the on-base skills aren’t going to arrive anytime soon. Good game, Simba.

Let’s enjoy this win. For all of the recent mediocrity, the Braves now have a winning record against each NL team above water. Now, if only we could figure out how to beat the Brewers, Mets, and Padres…