On Monday the Braves were involved in a farcical replay decision and undone by poor bullpen management. Tonight, the Braves were just plain beat. Recently minted All-Star Julio Teheran was smacked around allowing five runs and lasting a mere 3.1 innings in an 8-3 Braves loss. The loss was the Braves third straight since the end of their nine game winning streak and dropped them back into a first place tie with the Washington Nationals.
Things started poorly for Teheran when Curtis Granderson greeted him with a leadoff screamer to start the first inning. Teheran never got into any kind of a groove as he dealt with baserunners constantly and seemed to be constantly searching for answers on the mound. The second inning saw Teheran allow a two run double to David Murphy and an rbi single to David Wright. Eric Young Jr added on another run in the third and Teheran was unable to escape the fourth inning giving way to David Hale with one out and the Braves trailing 5-0.
On the other end of the spectrum Mets rookie David deGrom was masterful dominating the Braves lineup. DeGrom seemed to bring out all the worst tendencies in many Braves hitters, striking out eleven batters and walking none in 7 comfortable innings. BJ Upton and Jason Heyward were the Braves biggest threats at the plate with both recording three hits and stealing a combined three bases. But as this team will do sometimes the runners they did manage to put on the bases were left there with the exception of the three runs the Braves pushed across in a too little, too late comeback attempt. DeGrom was generally unheralded as a prospect but he has been very effective in his rookie campaign and has now dominated the Braves twice. The Braves offense has been generally punchless in 2014 but what I have seen of deGrom has been a guy who can miss bats and seems likely to stick in the Mets rotation. His curveball was especially confounding to Braves hitters all night and his command was impeccable.
Hale was relatively effective in relief of Teheran though he allowed one run. David Carpenter came in and pitched the last two innings allowing two more runs. Carpenter is a one inning reliever who has recently come off the disabled list so the decision to let him throw 37 pitches and wear two more runs seemed strange. The game was over at that point but Carpenter isn’t generally the guy who has to gut out those sorts of meaningless innings.
Overall, it was as lackluster a performance as you will see from a team still in first place. The Braves All-Star starting pitcher was smacked around, the offense was unable to get hits when chances were there to score runs, and the rainy weather as the game concluded summed up the mood. It was a forgettable night in a long season but the Braves need to get this losing streak under control as soon as they can.
- One bright moment was Christian Bethancourt getting a chance to show off his long talked of arm as he gunned down Ruben Tejada stealing second.
- Tejada had a look on his face after being thrown out that suggested he did not know who he was messing with.
- BJ Upton had three hits which was excellent to see. The kind of game you want from your leadoff hitter.
- Jason Heyward is still a defensive god.