There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, Julio Teheran is a solidified ACE. He was masterful against the Milwaukee Brewers as he went the distance and only allowed six hits while striking out eight. His 128 pitches were the most a Braves pitcher has put forth in a game this season. The win gave the club their 25th win to join six other teams that have done so. Teheran's ERA is now fifth best in the league at 1.92 and his 2.1 WAR ranks in the Top-10 in the league for pitchers. If he continues the dominance from the mound he could continue to become a household name and even have a chance to win a Cy Young award at the age of 23. He is only one of six players in the league with two or more shutouts this season.
It was around this time last season that Justin Upton started slumping, but that is the complete opposite of what he has been doing of late at the plate. In his last 12 at-bats he has hit three home runs and driven in six RBIs and has been the one to step up for a lineup that had been very inconsistent of late. While he is up to 12 home runs this season, a mark he reached on April 27 last year, he appears to have more consistent power at the plate this season and should have a big season in the home run department. His 2.0 WAR leads all Braves hitters with Jason Heyward close behind at 1.7.While he has struck out third most in the league, just four behind his brother for the MLB lead, his production at the plate this season has been extremely valuable.
Four years ago the Braves put together a solid draft that included the likes of Platinum and Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons (2nd round) and the legend himself Evan Gattis (23rd round). The draft will be held on Thursday, June 5. Talking Chop will have solid coverage leading up to the draft of past classes and who we believe the team might take. You never know when the next Braves legend could be drafted.
A young fan was hit in the head by a sharp foul ball off the bat of Carlos Gomez in the seventh inning yesterday, which many players out on the field reacted to. The reports were that the fan was still conscious and talking to medical attendees before being taken to the hospital. Braves country will keep the fan in their prayers.
All but one of Mike Minor's first four starts this season have been quality starts since he joined a pitching staff that has been better than anyone had expected. Everytime he rolls out to the mound the team typically knows what they are getting from the southpaw, which is usually a start of six innings or more with three or less runs given up.
Over the past two games the Braves have scored 14 runs at the plate. Not only have players began to draw more walks, but it is also a good sign to see some spraying the ball to all sides of the field. Greg Walker is a happy camper and hopes to continue to be.
After straining his flexor muscle last Wednesday while facing hitters for the first time the Doc has informed the Braves former set up man that his elbow is just fine. Venters will throw off the mound again this weekend, but is still a month or so away from getting back to full action. If he can recover and come back to full strength the Braves will once again have Ventbrel shutting down opposing teams. His career ERA in three big league seasons is 2.23 and he has 258 strikeouts in 229. 2 innings.
El Oso Blanco got sick to his stomach while warming up last night before the game and was replaced by Gerald Laird who came up with a two-hit game. Laird thought Pendleton was joking when he was told the news just minutes before game time.
The best case scenario for Jordan Walden right now is to keep resting, as he has been on the DL for two weeks with a strained left hamstring. He isn't trying to push himself either since if he aggravated it again the process would start all over. Before he suffered the injury he was having a terrific start to the season and had struck out 19 in 12.1 innings of relief. Tyler Pastornicky is also out for the time being with a sore left calf.
It was Simmons last night whose elusiveness was on display, as the Braves won the challenge of the out call at second base in which he somehow avoided a tag despite being beat by the throw. Fredi Gonzalez simply does not lose challenges.
After his first rough start in a Braves uniform last week in which he gave up 10 hits and five runs in five innings to the Cardinals, Ervin Santana will try and get back on track as he looks for his fifth win of the season.
Chris Davis hasn't exactly been making headlines over the first two months to start the season, but the defending home run champ from last season smashed three home runs for the second time in his career last night against the Pirates. His line in the 9-2 win was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and five RBIs. He still remains one of the top long ball threats in the league.
Masahiro Tanaka will not go 24-0 this season as he suffered the first loss of the season last night courtesy of the Chicago Cubs. This ends a streak of 42 consecutive starts that dates back to his time. In fact, it was his first loss since Aug. 19, 2012.
Adam Wainwright continues to roll right along this season and is the fourth pitcher to seven wins to start the season along with Zack Greinke, Mark Buehrle, and Rick Porcello.