Braves 5, Reds 0

That’s more like it.

This was basically 2015 Julio Teheran versus 2014 Julio Teheran. Johnny Cueto couldn’t get his pitches down and gave up too many gopherballs, and Teheran pounded the bottom of the zone with 93- and 94-mile an hour fastballs, yielding nothing but three singles and two walks in six innings.

It was a balanced attack: all of the regulars but Nick Markakis and Teheran got at least one hit, five different batters got an extra-base hit, and Christian Bethancourt had his first multihit game of the year. Jonny Gomes hit a laserbeam to left and Kelly Johnson crushed another one, his third bomb in his last seven games.

It’s honestly hard to find something to complain about. Julio wasn’t quite perfect — he needed 102 pitches to get through six innings, so Fredi had to go to the bullpen at the top of the 7th, as per usual. For some reason, Cody Martin pitched two innings, but he was his usual brilliant self, striking out three and needing just 23 pitches to get six outs.

Michael Kohn got the first two outs in the ninth, and then somehow walked Brandon Phillips — it was only the fourth walk of the year for Phillips, whose career walk rate is lower than that of Andrelton Simmons. I guess Fredi doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Kohn, because he yanked him with two outs in the 9th, a man on first, and a 5-run lead, and brought in Luis Avilan to face the lefthanded Brennan Boesch. Boesch has a career OPS+ of 94 and spent most of 2014 in the minor leagues; he has a grand total of 151 plate appearances since the beginning of 2013. Avilan overmatched him, striking him out in just three pitches. And that was that.

72 thoughts on “Braves 5, Reds 0”

  1. On Jace @last thread.

    Career Minor League numbers are misleading on Jace. Admittedly, he was fairly punchless when he first arrived in the Minors but ’13-’14 showed a completely different ballplayer: 41 doubles 19 triples and 10 HR in roughly 1.5 Minor League seasons. If some of those doubles dissipate into singles and some triples turn into doubles, sure it skews his numbers

    And the scouts say there’s gap power present (My favorite, John Sickels, amongst them). In the early stages of the season and ST, we were seeing it, but it wasn’t falling for Jace.

    Only time will tell, but I’m on the record saying I think it’s there, and hopefully it’ll start showing up.

  2. I like Jace. I think he will develop a little more punch, but he’ll never be a 15-20 HR guy. If he can work some counts, get on base and play great D, he will be a nice role player. Maybe even Playoffs Lemmer good.

  3. Nice one, Julio. We needed that.

    Y’know, we’re scoring a decent amount of runs so far–4th in the NL.

    But the pitching? Well…

  4. @3 The irony, huh?

    I still have low expectations of this team but I have to say that I like watching them. KJ and Cody Martin have to be the most pleasant surprises so far this season.

  5. Between Kelly Johnson, Jonny Gomes, and A.J. Pierzynski, our bench has been light years ahead of where it was last year. If yesterday was the real Julio, and if Alex Wood can rediscover his fastball command, I’ll feel a whole lot better about the team.

  6. Alex needs to have a hard-headed catcher demand he throw 80% fastballs until he gets his groove back. Kind of like Bethancourt did yesterday with Teheran.

  7. Strange slash line:
    .300 .417 .400 .817 v LHP
    .186 .219 .314 .533 v RHP!!!!!?????

    Heyward is having a rough year at the plate.

    Its too bad that CJ got injured. He was not sucking as bad as he did last year.

    I understand his weaknesses but I join with the others that advocate for Maybin to get some more playing time. Meanwhile Cunningham is begging for some copies of the pictures.

  8. JUpton killing it in SD. The Kraken must have had an episode as his ERA has ballooned.

    To everyone’s surprise, Jordan Walden is hurt.

  9. @13 And it was damn cool watching him hit one over the train tracks and completely out of Enron Field.

  10. @14 caught that game on They threw Kimbrel in some time last week in a losing game to give him some action. I think he was tagged for three runs or so in 0.1 innings. It was ugly.

  11. rob at 11,

    As in like “catcher’s earned run average” but for all runs. Theoretically over long periods of time, it can detect catchers that “call a good game” or are otherwise good defensively.

    I don’t believe it can make that kind of difference and Pierzynski isn’t supposedly bad with pitchers. He certainly can’t control the running game like Bethancourt, but who else can?

  12. Yeah, Gattis is really cranking the ball of late, five homers in his last six games. I’m really happy for the guy — I would have hated for there to be a narrative that it was a mistake for them to get him. He’s such a great guy to root for.

    Catcher’s ERA in the best of circumstances is a questionable stat, and over a small sample size it’s pretty dreadful, but it’s very clear that Pierzynski is sloppy behind the plate — not only can he not throw anybody out, he allows more than his share of wild pitches and passed balls. Moreover, he and Bethancourt are both pretty new to the team, and they’re still getting to know both their pitchers and their NL opponents. Other than 30 games in St. Louis last year, Pierzynski’s been a full-time American Leaguer since 2005. It stands to reason that they’ll both improve with time as they get to know their pitchers and their opponents better. And hopefully as the weather warms up, our pitchers’ fastballs will improve, too.

  13. @20

    I buy it. I broke my foot once and I still don’t know when I did it. They said stress over time could have caused it.

  14. @20, kind of. This is not the same, but I broke my ribs a few months ago while skiing, and I figured it was just a bad bruise for like a week before I finally went in and got X-rays. If I went skiing all the time, it’s very possible that I simply wouldn’t have known when I got the lingering chest pain.

    What I mean to say is, a significant part of the job for these guys is learning to live with pain, and there isn’t always a bright line between a bruise and a break. In my book it’s still inexcusable for him not to have told the team that he was hurting, but I think it’s plausible that he may not have known how bad it was.

  15. Jason Heyward has a .601 OPS. Last April, Jason Heyward had a .601 OPS. Jason Heyward is as bad in April as Justin Upton is good. But, you have to marvel at that consistency.

  16. @20 My brother played a soccer tournament before learning he had a broken foot. So yes, I find it plausible.

  17. I still cannot believe that guy gets paid to communicate via the written word.

  18. i was just about to type that if Francouer beats us tonight I will cease to believe the universe is random once and for all.

    And he doubled while I was typing it

  19. @26
    I’m a little shocked Peterson hasn’t gotten a few games at third. With CJ out, it may be time for Perez to come up

  20. Perhaps we should be working Peraza at 3rd. I have really enjoyed seeing Simmons and Peterson double plays.

  21. That was a tough short hop that Andrelton made look so easy to start that double play!

  22. 28—I made it to the first sentence of the second paragraph before leaving the page.

  23. @53, Contrary to what many dedicated fans who daily read Bowman’s blog may sometimes think, it is not incorrect for an observant person to comment that his blogs are not well written and often poorly structured prose

  24. It is starting to look like we are headhunting. I do not think that our pitchers have good enough control for another team to persuasively accuse us of that, but it looks like it.

    Wow — give Pierzynski credit for calling that that ball hit the knob of the bat instead of Ben Revere’s hand.

  25. Avilan doesn’t have it tonight. That looked scary.

    Edit: Then he has perfect control on his last pitch. Of course.

  26. So the thing is, why does any former Brave just rape us when they are demonstrably awful players otherwise? How can they just decide to be good against us?

    @29 for reference

  27. Using 5 relievers in the last 4.2 IP is stupid management. No reason for it unless your Dusty Baker. Especially in a losing effort.

  28. The trend this season is definitely one where ex-Braves who aren’t great players, or usually even good ones, dominate us. Marquis, Uggla, Harang, Francoeur…

    And we haven’t even seen any of the good players we traded away this offseason yet.

  29. #65 – that’s a ridiculous statement. Feel free and go back through every thread from this season and tell me how many times I’ve complained about Fredi. Then report back.

  30. Marginal teams go into a season with a lotta ifs. One of the first ifs is, generally, “Well, if we can beat up on the bad teams…”

    So, no, winning one of four vs. Philly doesn’t help.

    BTW, I guess Lurch still has something in the tank. Good for him.

  31. What’s the injury update on Melvin Upton Jr.?
    As of now, it should be expected that he hits three grand slams when we play the Padres in June.

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