MIAMI – Julio Teheran has made four consecutive opening-day starts for the Braves, but he’s never opened a new ballpark. He’ll get to do that Friday.
The Braves shuffled their rotation and will have Teheran start Friday’s home opener against the San Diego Padres at SunTrust Park, the first official game at the new Cobb County ballpark.
“It will be a great honor to open the new stadium,” Teheran said. “Obviously I’m going to get emotional. There’s going to be a lot of people there; the fans are going to get excited and so are the players. But just try to control that and just get on my game, just put that (adrenaline) on the side and pitch.”
After pitching Bartolo Colon on Tuesday against the Marlins and Jaime Garcia on Wednesday in the finale of a two-game series at Marlins Park, the Braves are off Thursday before their highly anticipated home opener. They’ll have Teheran start the first game of the four-game series against the Padres, followed by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Saturday, Bartolo Colon on Sunday and Garcia in Monday’s series finale.
No. 5 starter Mike Foltynewicz, who didn’t pitch well Friday in his season debut at Pittsburgh, won’t start again until Tuesday’s home-series opener against the Nationals. That will be nine days between starts for Foltynewicz, more than double the normal four days’ rest between starts. With two off days in the first eight days of the season and three in the first 11, it’s been a challenge to keep the starting pitchers on a normal routine.
“Try to keep as many of them as we can (on) regular (rest),” Snitker said, explaining that the shuffled order does that for the other starters including Teheran, who’ll be on regular rest. “We thought if we can keep four guys (on schedule it would be the way to go). This has been hard to maneuver with these off days. So we’re just trying to keep these guys as regular as we can, I think for the masses was more the objective than, like, where Folty is slotted.
“(Foltynewicz) is the fifth guy. So if we can keep four of them pretty regular, then that’s kind of what we wanted to do.”
Teheran has no decisions despite pitching exceptionally in his first two starts, allowing 10 hits and no earned runs in 13 innings, with four walks and 10 strikeouts. The poor run support continues a trend from 2016, when Teheran posted a 3.21 ERA and made the All-Star team, but had just a 7-10 record because of the lack of offensive support.
He never complained or bemoaned the lack of support last season and hasn’t so far this year.
“This is a team game,” Teheran said. “Sometimes we don’t have working at the same time, but that’s part of the game. I just control the part of the game that I can control, that I pitch as long as I can. I think I’m doing really good, and that’s all that matters. We want to win, but it’s a team game. We’ll hopefully get everything together so we can win.”
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