Three Cuts: Teheran roughed up in Braves' loss to Rockies
JUN 12, 2014 12:44a ET
1. Julio Teheran was probably due for a bad night at the office
Heading into Wednesday, Teheran boasted six wins, a 1.89 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and an opponents' batting average of .195.
The Braves ace had also produced 25 regular-season starts of allowing four earned runs or less -- a modest streak that went back to last year's All-Star break.
On this night, though, everything was a struggle for the 23-year-old Teheran, who got pummelled for 10 hits and a career-high seven runs against the Rockies -- a primary result of Colorado's 2-6 hitters accounting for seven runs, seven RBI and 12 hits.
In the first inning, all three Rockies runs occurred with two outs -- highlighted by a back-to-back-to-back sequence of a Justin Morneau single, Drew Stubbs RBI double and Chris Dickerson RBI triple (scoring Morneau and Stubbs).
Colorado began to slowly, but steadily collect runs after that, tallying one in the 3rd, one in the 5th and one in the 6th.
The Rockies' fifth-inning run was especially galling. Here's the scene: With Josh Rutledge on first base with one out, a long Troy Tulowitzki single to left field moved Rutledge to third base.
But upon fielding the cutoff throw, shortstop Andrelton Simmons spotted Tulowitzki (one run, one RBI, three hits vs. Atlanta) in a potential rundown between first and second base.
Simmons then sprinted wildly toward Tulowitzki, with the hopes of tagging him out while also disparaging Rutledge from boldly taking off for home.
A quick throw to Freddie Freeman then prompted a rundown toss to the Braves' Tommy La Stella -- who made simple contact with Tulowitzki ... while easily enabling Rutledge to score, boosting Colorado's lead to 5-0.
After that, the result was rather academic, as the Rockies (30-35) rolled for three more runs, before settling for their 18th home victory and 32nd outing of double-digit hits this season.
2. You can pencil the Braves in for five-plus runs on Thursday
Since May 30, Atlanta has alternated the act of scoring four or less runs/scoring five or more runs over 11 consecutive games.
It's an interesting trend ... and one that just screams productivity Thursday afternoon, as the Braves and Rockies conclude a four-game set in Denver.
Of course, on the heels of exploding for 13 runs Tuesday -- with seven alone in the opening frame -- few would have pegged the Braves for an anemic offensive showing on Wednesday, especially with Rockies rookie Tyler Matzek making his MLB debut.
But the kid responded with a scintillating effort, surrendering zero walks, five hits and taking a shutout into the 8th. (Atlanta would score twice in that inning.)
Matzek also fanned seven Braves and entered the 5th with a perfect game -- a notion that would end with Justin Upton's one-out single to right field.
Numbers nerds (and we say that affectionately) have a mixed book on Matzek: Yes, he was a first-round pick in 2009 (11th overall -- 14 slots ahead of Mike Trout) and possesses the physical traits of a down-the-road No. 2 starter (behind future Colorado ace Jonathan Gray).
But in the minors, Matzek was also a middling asset, racking up career marks of 29-29, a 4.34 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and 508/360 K-BB rate. In other words, to tab him for greatness in his next major-league start would be nothing more than blind subjectivity.
That aside, only Chris Johnson could muster multiple hits in Wednesday's defeat; and none of the Braves' seven hits were of the extra-base variety.
3. We're somewhat conflicted on the 'worry' meter, regarding the Braves (34-30) trailing the Nationals (35-29) in the division race
Let's take a pros/cons look at how things are turning out/may shake out:
THINGS TO PONDER BETWEEN NOW AND SEPT. 28
a. On this date last year (June 10), the Braves led the Nationals by seven games ... and would eventually take the NL East by 10.
b. For July, August and September, Atlanta has one home stand of 10 or more games for each month.
c. The Braves and Nationals face each other 12 more times -- including a three-game September set in Atlanta.
e. Atlanta holds an 18-7 head-to-head record over Washington in the last 14 months.
f. Alex Wood (3.00 ERA, 44/9 K-BB rate as a starter in 2014) could easily be a mainstay with the Braves' rotation, upon returning from a starters' stint at Triple-A Gwinnett.