When your starting pitcher gives up 6 in the first two innings, it’s an uphill battle. When your long man gives up 4 more in the next 5 innings, then it’s even harder. But all the damage was done by Julio Teheran and Josh Tomlin, and Anthony Swarzak and Luke Jackson covered the 2 2/3 without allowing a run. So while the bullpen ERA will take a hit because of Tomlin taking one for the team, the key members of the bullpen turned in good nights. That’s a positive.
Another positive is that the Braves hit six home runs by four different players. Matt Joyce contributed one to get it going, Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman both hit two, and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit one in the 9th. The team never quits and made a game of it.
Teheran has had 4 starts where he’s given up 6 ER or more. So when he doesn’t have it, he doesn’t have it. But it’s hard to fault the work he’s put in overall. He could be replacement level for the rest of the year, and he would still be worth his contract this year and worth picking up the option for next year. I said the same last year, but having this guy take the rubber 26 times this year adds stability to a team who badly needs it. He’s leading the league in walks, and his hits per 9 have gone up from last year, but he’s kept the ball in the park more than he did last year (1.3 HR/9 last year down to 1.0), and his walk and strike outs are identical to last year. That equates to a lower FIP than last year, and he’s outperformed his FIP in the 7 full seasons he’s pitched in the big leagues.
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