Julio Teheran got the better of fellow rookie Jose Fernandez in a pitchers’ duel last night, going 6 1/3 innings for his eleventh victory as the Braves held on to a 2-1 victory.
Teheran (11-7) and Fernandez (10-6) locked horns throughout the night, with each pitcher striking out eight and looking sharp throughout. Both were pulled as they approached 100 pitches, but both were still quite impressive. Fernandez’ ERA dropped to 2.33, third best in the majors, while Teheran’s performance this year has blown away any worries the team had coming into the season.
All of the Braves’ offense came on a Freddie Freeman two-run blast in the first inning. It was Freeman’s 17th home run, and gave him 87 RBI on the year. With Jason Heyward out and Dan Uggla and BJ Upton struggling, Freeman and Brian McCann have carried the Braves this week. Despite scoring just eight runs over the past four games, the Braves have won them all.
A couple of years ago, the Braves had the chance to keep Rafael Furcal for an exorbitant sum of money to do the things Andrelton Simmons did last night. Simmons had a couple of great defensive plays in the sixth inning, making a leaping grab of one line drive and a diving stop of another liner to bail out Teheran. Simmons has also been hitting .316 over the past week, and getting on base to get driven in by Freeman and McCann.
With the win and a Nats loss, the Braves’ magic number to clinch the division dropped to 15. Tonight, Mike Minor will go for his 14th win against Jacob Turner starting at 7:10 PM. The Braves hope to improve their home record, which stands at a phenomenal 48-18.
Andrelton Simmons #19 of the Atlanta Braves makes a throw against the Miami Marlins to try for a double play on August 30, 2013 after a leaping grab of a line drive.
Julio Teheran #49 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on August 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Teheran threw 6 1/3 innings to improve to 11-7 with a 3.01 ERA.
Elliot Johnson #30 of the Atlanta Braves doubles against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on August 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Johnson was called up due to the recent injuries to Justin Upton and Jason Heyward.
The Braves’ dugout welcomes Freddie Freeman back to the dugout after Freeman rounded the bases on a two-run home run, which provided all of the Braves’ offense on the day.
Jose Fernandez pitched well, allowing two runs in six innings and striking out eight. He did not get enough support for the win, though, and fell to 10-6 with a 2.33 ERA, third best in the National League.
Simmons – Double Play
Andrelton Simmons catches a relay throw off a deep fly ball to tag Giancarlo Stanton at second for a double play, clearing the bases to help preserve the 2-1 lead.
Scott Downs entered the game in the eighth inning, and was part of a relief corps that ended the win with 2 2/3 of scoreless relief pitching to preserve the victory.
CF Jordan Schaefer and 3B Paul Janish high-five after the last out was recorded, giving the Braves a phenomenal 48-18 record at home for the year.