Here are three things we gleaned from the Braves’ 8-2 loss to the Rockies — a defeat that dropped Atlanta down to second place in the National League East standings (trailing Washington):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
d. The Nationals have 16 remaining games against the Giants, Cardinals, Brewers and Dodgers … whereas the Braves only have seven outings against the National League’s Big Four.
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.