Teheran has been a master (0.89) but Braves still mess at home (2-18)

Braves interim manager Brian Snitker goes over signals before Tuesday's game against Milwaukee at Turner Field. It was Snitker's first home game since taking over for Fredi Gonzalez. (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

Braves interim manager Brian Snitker goes over signals before Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee at Turner Field. It was Snitker’s first home game since taking over for Fredi Gonzalez. (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

There was a time last season when Julio Teheran was central to Braves’ trade rumors. It made little sense at the time for a pitcher with so much promise, but with the front office well into a roster house cleaning the rumors couldn’t easily be dismissed.

Dealing Teheran at the trade deadline in this lost season makes even less sense now, given how he’s pitching. In spring training, he told me, “It sounds weird, but people are looking at me like I’m a veteran.” He pitched like it again Tuesday night, allowing one run and three hits in seven innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts, only to come away with a no decision in a 2-1 loss to Milwaukee.

It was Brian Snitker’s first home game since taking over for Fredi Gonzalez as interim manager last week. Snitker had gone 3-3 on the road. Then came Tuesday’s market correction. The Braves came home and they were zombies again, the loss dropping them to 2-18 at Turner Field.

“We’re trying not to put that pressure on our minds,” Teheran said when asked if the Braves’ home struggles prompt him to feel he has to pitch perfect to win. “We’re just trying to go out there and compete and do what we can do … and we’ll wait for (hitters) to do their job.”

Teheran has been a gem, pitching like he did as an All-Star in 2014. In 10 starts, he is only 1-4 with five no decisions despite an ERA of 2.57. Even more frustrating for him, he is 1-2 with three NDs in his last six starts despite a 0.89 ERA (four earned runs allowed in 40 2/3 innings), with 42 strikeouts and nine walks).

“At some point in time, it’s gotta start going our way,” Snitker said.

Not necessarily.

Snitker used his seventh lineup in seven games. It’s not because he has unlimited great options with this roster.

This is how a team goes 2-18 at home: In the second inning, the Braves had bases load with none out, only to see Erick Aybar (.177) line into double play at third. (Teheran followed with a ground out.) In the third, Ender Inciarte doubled with one out, but Gordon Beckham and Freddie Freeman followed with strikeouts. In the seventh, Mallex Smith (who had tripled home the Braves’ only run in the fifth) walked and seemingly had second base stolen, but he overslid the bag and was tagged out. That’s the second time this season Smith has done that.

“I guess we’ll have to work on that in spring training,” Snitker said.

The Braves are the lowest-scoring and one of the worst hitting teams (.232) in the majors. They can’t afford to blow the few scoring chances they’ll get. So when Bud Norris replaced Teheran in the eighth, walked the first batter he faced and allowed the go-ahead run — yeah, boom.

Don’t blame Teheran. He’s proving his value. It would be nice if he’s kept around.

MORE: Who will the Braves hire as their permanent manager? They likely won’t stray far from home. Click here to go my column on MyAJC.com

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

Reader Comments 0

8 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

9 Pitchers in 13 innings and they held the Brewers to just 3 runs.I'd say that's a pretty good night for the pitching staff. I never thought I would say this but Freeman looks like he just doesn't give a damn. He makes $6-$7 million a year and can't make contact with the ball.

Weakhitter
Weakhitter

If braves are hitting .232 & the pitching is 26 the in league--what do the computer programs predict the Braves to win out of 162 in 2016? If the minor league system is said to be improving by what measure is that based on or is that smoke too?

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

I really don't see the mess, I see young ball players learning. We were spoiled so during this transition period we get impatient. Give it a chance. Don't let these young player read you putting them down. Atlanta/Georgia is better tha that

Weakhitter
Weakhitter

I'v seen the Braves in Spring training in recent years & love baseball. However, Braves upper management has failed the owners & fans. The Braves are fielding a team of 5 or 6 major leaguers & has beens along with a combination of at best AA grade players. Do we expect them to compete & win against teams like the Royals, Nats & Mets? No way & upper management is offering only empty promisses. The Ownership & Fans deserve better. The big question is--who put us in this trap? Who still remembers the tast & smell of Uption? Well, with this management get use to the Upton taste & smell--new park or not!

douglasT
douglasT

With practically any other team Tehran picks up a win last night ..... shades of Shelby Miller from last season.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Julio is gone at the deadline , I hope Coppy/Hart get more than a couple of A class pitching prospects for him. Would like to see a trade package put together to acquire an advanced catching prospect, Some one like the Mariners Mike Zunino might be a good fit for the Braves.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Bud the Dud's line 1 IP 1 ER 1 H 2 BB equals another one run loss for the Braves.