Braves’ Julio Teheran continues dominance over Marlins

Credit: Michael Reaves

Credit: Michael Reaves

If Julio Teheran pitched against the Marlins every fifth day, he’d be the perennial Cy Young favorite.

For everything that went against the Braves in Thursday’s loss, as much went right in their 8-4 win Friday in Miami. The Braves are 7-1 at Marlins Park this season.

Their success began with Teheran, who entered the day with 18 scoreless frames against the Marlins this season. He ran that streak to 24 innings before Starlin Castro homered off him in the seventh.

Outside that pitch, Teheran was masterful. It was one of his better starts in a year that’s flown under the radar. The Braves mainstay induced 13 swinging strikes in 100 pitches.

When used, his slider was effective. It’s often the key to his better outings, but Teheran noted his two-seamer made the difference Friday.

“The two-seamer was a pitch that I throw to them a lot,” he said. “That’s a pitch I can use behind in counts, any counts. It’s there. I didn’t really use my slider today (17 pitches) or my other pitches. It was more my two-seamer.”

In four starts against the Marlins, Teheran’s numbers are borderline unbelievable: 25 innings, 14 hits, one run, one walk and 22 strikeouts. That equates to a 0.36 ERA with a .161 average against. If there was an appropriate time for editing the “owner” section of the Marlins’ Wikipedia page, this would be it.

“It’s just the plan I’ve been doing,” Teheran said. “It’s the same thing I did in my other three starts. I just execute the same plan. It works. There’s no reason to change it.”

But Teheran’s production isn’t limited to the Marlins. Teheran often mystifies Braves country, yet his numbers suggest a player who’s actually been the model of consistency. Or at least not the enigmatic presence he’s occasionally labeled. Other than ace Mike Soroka, Teheran has been the most reliable pitcher on the staff.

He owns a 3.35 ERA with 126 strikeouts across 25 starts (137 innings). It’s rarely exciting. You won’t see the highlights on social media. Yet Teheran continues to be effective – and the Braves will happily take it.

“He came out sharp from the get-go, mixing his pitches,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Slider was really good for him. That was a good ballgame.”

The Braves led 1-0 through four innings due to Ozzie Albies’ solo shot. They erupted for five in the fifth, helped by a questionable balk call that seemed to rattle Marlins starter Caleb Smith and led to manager Don Mattingly’s ejection.

Division standings

Teheran, Adam Duvall and Charlie Culberson had RBIs in the inning. Ronald Acuna blasted his 31st and 32nd home runs, extending his own personal results against the Marlins. He already has seven homers in August, drawing closer in his pursuit of the fifth 40-40 season in MLB history.

Soroka starts Saturday against Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara (4-10, 4.50). It will be Soroka’s third start against Miami. He’s allowed one earned run in 15 innings across those starts.