Julio Teheran on Saturday afternoon pitched a complete game in which he allowed no earned runs, while striking out six batters and walking one. The Braves lost that game 3-2 to the worst team in baseball and at this point the season seems all but lost for Atlanta. The Braves have lost 4 of 5 including two straight losses to the pitiful Texas Rangers. The offense is completely broken and the Braves are 3.5 games out of the wild card with 14 to play. Yes tomorrow could be the day the team rips off a streak and goes on a run that brings them into the playoffs but the current abysmal form of the team gives little reason to believe this will happen.
The Braves put together one big inning of offense during the game but the outburst wasn't big enough to overcome the defensive disaster that would ultimately doom Atlanta. In the third inning Emilio Bonifacio reached on a two out single and stole second base. Bonifacio came around to score on a Phil Gosselin single and Freddie Freeman then cracked a double that pushed the Braves lead to 2-0. Unfortunately, as has been typical of Atlanta this season this one rally would be the only instance of the Braves offense actually pushing across runs. Lisalverto Bonilla made the first start of his big league career and the nothing prospect stymied the Braves offense all day aside from that one brief outburst. The Braves offense is so poor they cannot score more than two runs against a non-prospect, making his big league debut, with use of the designated hitter in one of the friendliest hitters parks in baseball.
For much of the game though it appeared the two runs would be enough to scrape a victory for Atlanta. Teheran was dominant and entered the sixth inning having allowed only a walk to the Rangers. Teheran lost the no hitter when Luis Sardinas singled with one out but Teheran seemed ready to escape the inning without real trouble. The fateful moment came with two outs in the inning when Leonys Martin popped a flyball to Justin Upton who inexplicably dropped it to allow the inning to continue. Elvis Andrus singled and Rougned Odor doubled to put three runs on the board for Texas and make it 3-2. The three hits Teheran allowed in the inning were the only hits he would allow all day and two of them came after Upton's error failed to end the inning. Out of nowhere the Rangers had three runs and that would be it as Atlanta's offense never mounted another challenge.
Ramiro Pena reached base on a single in the 7th and Christian Bethancourt singled with one out in the ninth but those two singles were the only Atlanta baserunners after Upton's gaffe. The game was yet another dispiriting effort for Atlanta who are quickly approaching official irrelevance for the 2014 season. The Braves entered this series needing to make up ground and the last place Rangers seemed the ideal team to face to do just that. Instead Atlanta has just dropped further back in the standings. It will take a bit longer to become official but for all practical purposes this series has ended the Braves season. Time to start thinking about what should be one of the more tumultuous offseasons in recent years for Atlanta.