If Atlanta’s Julio Teheran wasn’t intimidated facing a former Cy Young Award winner his last time out, it seems unlikely he would be fazed by Miami’s Tom Koehler.
Although Koehler’s name doesn’t strike up much fear, he has yielded two runs or less in each of his last six starts.
Teheran takes the mound against Koehler when the Braves open a series against the Marlins on Monday night at Turner Field.
Teheran (2-1, 1.93 ERA) faced the difficult task of opposing Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee on Wednesday but was up to the challenge, throwing a three-hitter in a 1-0 win. The right-hander retired his first 12 batters, struck out four and got 14 outs on fly balls for his first complete game in 38 career starts.
"The whole game, I was just trying to throw strikes, and all of my pitches were working," Teheran told the Braves’ official website. "I used my two-seamer for lefties and it was tough to hit.
"I wanted my first-career complete game. I wanted to stay focused."
Teheran has already squared off with Washington’s Stephen Strasburg and Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo, and said he doesn’t get caught up with his counterpart on the mound.
"I don’t pay attention to who I’m pitching against," he said.
Koehler (2-1, 1.89) doesn’t have the same track record as to some of the pitchers Teheran has opposed, but he is certainly pitching like a staff ace.
Koehler gave up one hit while walking five in seven scoreless innings of an 11-2 win over Washington on Tuesday. The right-hander said he went into the game mindful of the need to pitch inside, and that irritated the Nationals.
"Guys tend to get a little upset when they get crowded," Koehler said.
This will be the fourth start of the season for Koehler, who last gave up more than two runs on Sept. 10, when he permitted four in five innings in a 4-3 loss to Atlanta. He had a 5.40 ERA in two starts versus the Braves last season.
Atlanta (12-6) feasted on Miami pitching in 2013, and went 13-6 in the season series.
Freddie Freeman batted .379 with three homers, six doubles and 11 RBIs with a .486 OBP against Miami in 2013, while Chris Johnson hit .397 with one home run, eight doubles and 15 RBIs. Freeman is 4 for 6 with a triple and double against Koehler and Johnson is 3 for 5 with a double in his matchups.
Evan Gattis also frustrated Miami last year in limited action, batting .368 with three home runs, six doubles and 13 RBIs in 10 games.
Freeman, Johnson and Gattis went a combined 2 for 14 and left seven runners on base in Sunday’s 4-3, 14-inning loss to the New York Mets.
The Marlins (9-10) are coming off a 3-2 win over Seattle on Sunday to sweep a three-game series after losing nine of 10.
Giancarlo Stanton is hitless in six at-bats in the last two games after going 10 for 24 with four homers in his previous six, and could struggle to get back on track Monday. He hit .185 with two homers, seven RBIs with 17 strikeouts and 20 walks versus Atlanta in 2013, and is 1 for 9 with three strikeouts and four walks lifetime against Teheran.