Braves swept by Mets, as Teheran is latest starter to struggle

Julio Teheran allowed four runs and walked five Mets in only 4.1 innings. (AP photo)

Julio Teheran allowed four runs and walked five Mets in only 4.1 innings. (AP photo)

Julio Teheran allowed four runs and walked five Mets in only 4.1 innings. (AP photo)

NEW YORK — There has been a significant market correction since the torn-down-and-patched-up Braves won six of their first seven games. That’s not surprising.

The everyday lineup of spare parts is struggling to score runs and the dinged up bullpen is struggling to hold leads — or even hold onto the ledge. That’s also not surprising

But the Braves’ biggest concern at this early stage of the season isn’t the offense or the bullpen. It’s the starting pitching.

The Braves lost to the New York Mets 6-3 Thursday. Actually, they were swept in the series by the Mets, who have now won a franchise record 11 straight and therefore are killing Mets jokes across the nation (at least in April).

The problem in this game has been a problem in many games: a starter couldn’t last six innings. Or even five.

Julio Teheran threw 102 pitches, which can be good, but he squeezed them into only 4 1/3 innings, which is never good. He walked five and allowed four runs (only three hits but one was a bases-loaded double).

Teheran’s difficulty in locating the strike zone and failing to provide the Braves with a solid start continues a disturbing trend. In 15 games this season, Braves starters have failed to complete six innings in nine out of 15 games. Teheran pitched eight and six innings, respectively, in first two outings but has lasted only 9 1/3 combined in the last two.

It can be taxing enough on a bullpen when starters can’t pitch six or seven innings with consistency but the fact the Braves can’t keep their relievers either healthy or PED-free has made the situation even worse. Two rookie relievers, Andrew McKirahan and Arodys Vizcaino, have been suspended 80 games for following positive drug tests. Among other injuries/absentees among relievers who were either on the roster or might have been: Shae Simmons (Tommy John surgery), Josh Outman (shoulder), Brady Feigl (Tommy John) and James Russell (signed as a free agent but couldn’t make the team in spring training.

Also Craig Kimbrel. He’s gone, too. You can try to rationalize that trade by projecting the Braves weren’t going to have enough games worth saving anyway. But his exit meant moving Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson up a slot, leaving a black hole in the middle innings.

Which brings us back to starters not going six innings.

Braves starters have combined for only 78 innings in 15 games, an average of 5.2 and scraping the bottom in the majors. Compare that to last year’s average of 6.26.

Their composite starters’ ERA is now 4.27. Last year: 3.4 innings.

I’ll have more on this topic and post-game, post-sweep comments from the Braves on MyAJC.com.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column.

Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— AJC: Hawks’ sale positive but does Gearon’s role ensure Ferry’s exit?
— AJC: Poll: Should Falcons pursue Adrian Peterson, Randy Gregory?
— MyAJC: Falcons’ risk-reward scale may tip in new direction
— AJC: Budenholzer wins coaching honor, and it shouldn’t have been close
— AJC: Millsap, Sefolosha, Horford — what’s going on with Hawks?
— MyAJC: Hawks need a better Millsap for long playoff run
— MyAJC: Budenholzer knows what playoff success is all about
— MyAJC: Hawks hoping to leave Atlanta playoff wreckage behind
— AJC: Hawks lose lottery pick but get better playoff match-up: Nets
— MyAJC: Jordan Spieth: Perfect champion, perfect story
— AJC: Masters short takes: Spieth’s first major won’t be his last
— MyAJC: It’s a Masters Sunday, and here comes old Phil Mickelson
— AJC: Masters short takes: Spieth hopes to avoid Norman flashback
— MyAJC: Jordan Spieth toying with Augusta, Masters’ field
— MyAJC: Woods is back, or he’s not, or he is, or he’s not…
— MyAJC: On eve of final Masters, Ben Crenshaw embracing every moment
— MyAJC: Woods loose, confident, but is he really ready for Masters
— MyAJC: Braves stop the noise with opening victory
— AJC: Short takes: Small ball, Teheran, bullpen and a Braves’ win
— AJC: Braves’ deal saves budget (Upton) but drives nail in season (Kimbrel)
— MyAJC: Trade reaffirms Braves’ decision to go backward before forward
— MyAJC: With expectations low, at least Braves won’t underachieve
— AJC: Hawks’ biggest nightmare: Millsap suffers shoulder injury
— MyAJC: Hawks’ turnaround started with trade of Joe Johnson — and he knows it

Reader Comments 0

26 comments
afx
afx

I watching Teheran for last 4-5 years and never got impression that he is our ace he is been OK maybe #4 starter on 95 win team. and #1 SP on 70 win team like right now. so if we want be again in Sox era team need some SP remaining us Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine. where they? I don't know. just pray that history not repeat yourself for another 30 years of miserable baseball we got plenty until 1991.

SeanLB
SeanLB

@afx He's solid, but not nearly the talent that our fanbase tries to tout.  If this is the guy who was an "absolutely untouchable AAA talent" (before being called up), maybe it's time to raise our standards.  

GT71
GT71

Jeff, it's called 'reversion to the mean' - ask a Tech guy for meaning and apply context.

forexbomb
forexbomb

@GT71 That's a little much to ask Jeff,don't ya think...  :)

kenstallings
kenstallings

This shouldn't surprise anyone.  The relief corps isn't close to the same level of quality and experience as last season.  The Braves have gone from a very much above average -- perhaps best -- bullpen, to a well below average one.  That is the prime area of cost cutting that has taken place and the Braves will surely get what they have paid for.


The offense is better -- again no surprise.  They will strikeout a lot less, get on base more, and score more runs.  


The starting rotation is as good one through three, but after that, it falls below last year's level, and the numbers are showing that also.  


The Mets were expected to be a really good team and many thought they might be the favorite to win the NL East, and with the early season injury issues in Washington, I would put the Mets as the favorite.  Their pitching staff is stellar, strong top to bottom.  Four of the Braves' seven losses are against them -- no surprise there.


I predict still that this year's Braves team will win between 70 and 80 games.  Not bad, but not good enough to get into post season.  

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@kenstallings I disagree on the Mets.  They will battle for a 2nd place finish with the Marlins.  It is APRIL.  Harvey is a stud, and DeGrom is throwing better than I expected, but I believe Bartolo will begin pitching like a man with his age and girth should as the weather heats up.  The Mets have too many holes in their lineup, even with Wright healthy.  Washington is by far too talented and will win this division going away.

   I do, however agree with everything you said about the Braves.  I think you're spot on.

JanicePhoenix
JanicePhoenix

@PalmBeachFalcon @kenstallings  The Mets seem to have a plug and play system in place after 6 years of ugly baseball, their ownership and management either through necessity or choice has put into place a minor league system which can sustain them for years to come.


If its not this year it will be very soon and it will last a good long time.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Teheran hasn't looked the same since he tweaked his knee. If the starters start going down, which figures to happen at some point, this could get real ugly.

candlin14
candlin14

I wouldn't mind seeing this team lose if they would have FIRED that fat POS in Freddi Gonzalez. Listening to his same stupid spill after every loss is just agonizing. We are the Buffalo Bills of baseball...


I HATE WATCHING A THIS AWFUL OFFENSE DAY IN AND DAY  OUT!!!! SCORE SOME RUNS PLZZZZ

Wilbo
Wilbo

@candlin14 Most accurate description of Fruitcake Fredi I've seen on this board!

SeanLB
SeanLB

@candlin14 We were the Buffalo Bills of baseball LONG before we had Fredi, but nobody wanted to say anything bad about the great Bobby Cox.  Love Bobby, but in reality, should have broken through more than once with that rotation and the amount of FA talent we brought through in the 90s.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

They are who we thought they would be- BAD. No surprise here for anyone with their head above the sand.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

.300 ball the rest of the way. 110 losses. This team is awful. Liberty Media has probably reeled in all the suckers they could from the hot start. Look for some more salary dumping by July. The Kimbrel windfall wet their appetites.

Wilbo
Wilbo

It isn't unusual for human beings to pretend. It's part of our cultural heritage. Usually, not too much harm in pretending... Pretending you got  more $ than you do can get you in a big credit mess. Pretending you're tougher than you are can get your butt whipped. Jeffie, your articles usually just completely SUCK, but I find good news here: we can all - but most of all our 2 low intelligence bloggers - can now quit pretending that the 2015 Atlanta Braves are anything but the ragged inexcusable mess that they are.


So they lose 95-96-97... so what?


I'm hoping they lose 100. It's going to take something like that for our fans to see us for the pathetic train wreck that we are and demand better. The Stadium needs to be so empty you could hear echoes.


The Braves as an organization suck and until we admit that, we're going to be stuck w the S O S....


Getting rid of Cox & Shurholtz are necessary first steps...

Wilbo
Wilbo

@PalmBeachFalcon


I've been here the entire time, puppsy wuppsy.


Occasionally, I like to let the Moe Ronn Braves fan have his pitiful say.


There is stupid. Then there is insanely stupid. Then way below that is the class of clown/fool sufficiently devoid of reasoning ability to think the 2015 Atlanta Braves are anything but trash.

TruthSpeaketh
TruthSpeaketh

Braves back to normal! Teheran is nothing more that a 4th starter on most teams! HE SUCKS!

maxman2660
maxman2660

braves suck but liberty media gonna make a lot of money with that low payroll,that was their goal

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

I'll bet James Russell is having a good laugh watching them struggle. 

Sweet deal to be paid to do nothing.

Dman
Dman

And so it begins...

RangeRover
RangeRover

Question:

How do you get swept by the Mets?


Answer:

Have a Major league franchise with AAA players and an American Legion Softball Manager.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Nice start, but this team has too many holes to be covered up over a 162-game schedule. Hard to imagine them losing fewer than 90 games.

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

Awful. Time for a fire sale.  Wait....


Maybe Liberty Media wants to relocate the team to Miami? Are any of these guys furniture movers?