Evan Gattis said it perfectly after the game last night. Julio Teheran has always been something special and a good pitcher. The 23-year old followed up his complete game shutout with another masterful outing, as he held a powerful Colorado Rockies lineup scoreless for six innings and only allowed five base runners while striking out seven.With his scoreless innings streak now up to 15 his 1.77 ERA ranks third best in baseball behind Jeff Samardzija and Adam Wainwright. The run support for JT has improved vastly in his last two starts, in which the Braves have scored 12 runs and smacked six home runs. The Colombia born ace has his four-seam and two-seam fastball working great together and he is one of the best pitchers in the league as of right now.
While Turner Field is a pitchers park this past weekends success for the Braves (28-21) is more so due to their extraordinary pitching staff. The Rockies, who rank first in the league in runs scored, only managed to score five runs as they dropped two of three in the series. Charlie Blackmon was held to 1-of-9 in the series and has seen his May batting average drop to .253 after hitting .389 in April. The Braves have now thrown seven shutouts on the season and are well on pace to break their 11 mark from last season. Pitching simply wins games and it has helped them increase their division lead to three games over the Miami Marlins.
Jason Heyward has been showing great signs out of the leadoff spot this month and has brought his average up to .238 on the season in big part due to his recent 11-game hit streak. After eight multi-strikeout games in April the Braves 24-year old right fielder has had no such games this month and has drawn 10 walks compared to 13 strikeouts in the month of May. He also gave his broken bat to a fan yesterday. No wonder why he is a fan favorite.
In his second game back from a viral infection Evan Gattis whacked two home runs and drove in three runs as the Braves smashed the Rockies. He now has four home runs this month and 10 on the season. He is the first catcher in all of baseball this season to hit double-digit in home runs. He now has three multi home run games in his career.
Justin Upton has remained a consistent power source throughout the season and is showing no signs of slowing down. With a two-run shot yesterday he now has 13 long balls on the season and ranks third in the National League in that category. His triple slash at home is .378/.457/.756 and the 26-year old is well on pace for his second 30 home run season in his career.
We all know that B.J. Upton isn't going to hit over .250 or so this season, but the center fielder who signed the most expensive Braves free agent deal has started turning things around this month. Since receiving a game off on May 18 he has only struck out twice and was 4-for-11 in the series with the Rockies. Not to mention, he continues to make great plays in the outfield and can track down about almost any fly ball hit his way.
Craig Kimbrel has been striking out people left and right as of late as he nears the Atlanta Braves franchise record for most saves, as he sits two behind John Smoltz's record of 154. In eight of 11 appearances this month the flamethrower has K'd at least two hitters in his outing and struck out the side three times.
While Dan Uggla received two back-to-back starts (May 22-23) he is back on the bench again as Fredi Gonzalez continues to shuffle around the starting rotation at second base. Ramiro Pena is struggling at the plate as he only has three hits in his last 28 at-bats. Tyler Pastornicky has been a little better than both with a .261 (6-for-23) average this month.
Josh Beckett has now joined the exclusive no-hit club. He allowed only three runners on base via the walk against the Philadelphia Phillies and struck out Chase Utley to end the game on his 128th pitch.
Manny Ramirez has signed a contract to become a player/coach for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. Theo Epstein will see what all he can get out of one of the funniest players to ever watch in baseball.
Enjoy your Memorial Day wherever you may be. Also enjoy this video of Josh Beckett making history.