Atlanta Braves Blog

The Atlanta Braves blog by David O'Brien, baseball writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Teheran looks to solve Dodgers and woes vs. lefties

After being scratched from his Tuesday start due to sickness, the Braves' Julio Teheran faces the Dodgers – a team that’s been his worst nemesis -- and rookie Ross Stripling on Wednesday night at Turner Field.

Including one start in 2013 division series, Teheran is 0-5 with 7.36 ERA in five starts vs. Dodgers, allowing 38 hits, 24 earned runs, three homers, 12 walks with 32 strikeouts in 29 1/3 IP.

In four regular-season starts against them, he’s 0-4 with a 6.08 ERA and .300 opponents’ average, including a 5.02 ERA in two starts at Turner Field.

Teheran gave up five runs in 7 1/3 innings of a 2014 start against the Dodgers in Atlanta, and last season he gave up six hits, three runs and three walks with 11 strikeouts in six innings of a July home loss against them.

In four regular-season games – two in 2014, two in 2015 -- Yasiel Puig is 4-for-6 with a homer against Teheran, and Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-12 with a homer.

Stripling is a 26-year-old who’ll make his third major league start, and the right-hander from Texas A&M has been impressive, allowing just five hits and three runs with five walks and nine strikeouts in 13 1/3 inings.

We hear constantly the importance of getting ahead in counts for pitchers, and how much harder it is to pitch when behind in counts. Look no further than Teheran’s current stats for a perfect illustration:

After he gets ahead in counts 0-and-1 this season, he’s limited hitters to .050 (2-for-40) with no extra-base hits, three walks, 13 strikeouts. But after Teheran falls behind 1-and-0, hitters are whacking him at a .500 clip (12-for-24) with three doubles, three homers, five walks and only one strikeout.

His struggles against lefties have continued for Teheran, despite that being his primary focus this year, according to the pitcher himself during spring training. Lefties are hitting .308/.424/.731 against him this year, compared to .214/.250/.310 by right-handed hitters.

Last season lefties hit .300/.387/.507 in 367 at-bats against him, compared to .207/.263/.320 by 381 at-bats by right-handers.


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About the Author

David O'Brien has covered the Atlanta Braves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2002.