So there’s this thing in college baseball called the Friday Starter. It’s a team’s stud pitcher who starts every Friday game because that’s usually the conference rivals, and he’s supposed to be your team’s ace. Julio Teheran is definitely the Braves’ Friday Starter.
Julio was dominant. Again. And he wound up with a no decision. Again. The only runners he allowed were on a 1st inning walk to Ryan Kalish (who was erased on a caught stealing), and a 3rd inning solo homer to Mike Olt and an 8th inning walk to Olt. Other than that, the Cubs couldn’t do anything against him. Julio went 8 innings, striking out 9. From the homer to the 2 out walk to Olt in the 8th, Teheran sat down 17 straight Cubs. He was especially efficient in the 6th and 7th innings, needing just 14 pitches to sail through the six outs.
Unfortunately for Teheran, Jason Hammel, the Cubs’ starter, was almost as good. He ran into trouble with two outs in the 1st, walking Freddie Freeman, and giving up singles to Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson. Johnson’s single was of the infield variety, so BJ Upton’s strikeout ended the threat.
In the bottom of the third, the Braves finally managed to get the big two out hit. Freeman singled with two outs, followed by Gattis singling to left. Gattis advanced to second on a wild pitch that wasn’t far enough away to score Freeman, and Regression grounded a single just out of reach of Starlin Castro to score Freeman and Oso Blanco.
Kimbrel was not sharp in the 9th. I suppose when you’re not getting the save chances due to a losing streak it’s understandable. Chris Coghlan led out with a single, advanced to second on a groundout by Emilio Bonifacio, and scored on Kalish’s single to left. Justin Upton charged the ball like he was thinking of throwing home, and badly misplayed it, allowing Kalish to move up to second. Castro walked after Anthony Rizzo grounded out, moving Khalish to third, but Kimbrel managed to get Nate Schierholtz to ground out to end the threat.
Alex Wood pitched the tenth, allowing a leadoff single to Luis Valbuena, but he sandwiched a flyout to center around two strikeouts to prevent any damage. In the bottom of the tenth, Jason Heyward walked and stole second despite being picked off. Wesley Wright was slow getting the pick off to Rizzo at first, and Heyward outran the relay throw. Justin Upton was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but Freeman singled to center on the first pitch for the walk-off.
So, one pitcher who suffered from no run support managed to get a one inning win, while another who deserved better gets nothing. Again. But, a win is a win, and with Jeff Samardzija going Saturday night for the Cubbies, we have a chance to see a huge strikeout number. I hope Ervin Santana has his pitching shoes on, because he may not see (m)any runs.