Jun 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) runs out on the field in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Braves at Diamondbacks: Preview and Live Thread

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I treat it as a bit of  feather in my cap that Julio Teheran has pitched so well this year. I opined in the Spring that this would be his breakout year, and while what constitutes a breakout year may be debatable, certainly Teheran has been the sure and certain foundation this year for the Braves’ rotation.

Julio Teheran will be on the bump again tonight as the Atlanta Braves take to the road again, headed out to Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks, who while they have some dangerous hitters in their lineup, are nevertheless struggling in last place with a 26-36 record, 14 games out of first.

Julio Teheran (5-3, 1.83 ERA) has been dynamite on the mound.  Sporting an ERA in the top three in the majors, and with an amazing 0.93 WHIP, he’s yielded just 2 meager runs over 22 innings, limiting opposing batters to a mere .185 average.  If that’s not a breakout year, I don’t know what is.  Like all Braves’ pitchers, he hasn’t always gotten the run support to match his phenomenal pitching, or he could well be 7-1 or 8-0.

Hopefully, the Braves’ bats will be alive once again tonight, because frankly you never know what to expect from this see-saw offense.  After being swept in a four game series to the Boston Red Sox (two of which were played in Atlanta), they traveled to Miami and swept the Miami Marlins.  They then came back home and got swept in a short two game set to the Seattle Mariners.  

On the road again, who can say what to expect from the Atlanta Braves in this series?

I know one thing, the Arizona Diamondbacks may be struggling on the year, but their bats have been pretty hot lately.  In their most recent series against the Colorado Rockies, the Dbacks hit over .400 as a team, going yard seven times and scoring 32 runs in that three game sweep, capped off by a total of 18 hits in a 12-7 victory in the final game of the series.

 

Dangerous Snakes?

Julio Teheran should be wary of Chris Owings who has been red-hot at Chase Field, Miguel Montero who has been hot recently, and the always dangerous Paul Goldschmidt.  If the Braves’ bats happen to be cold again to start this new series, it might be a comfort to know that they’ll be facing Brandon McCarthy in game one. McCarthy has never seen the Braves, and while they’ve not seen him either, Brandon is a poor 1-7 with a 5.20 ERA so far, and has yet to get a win at Chase Field.  Giving up double-digit runs and hits in just eleven innings over his last two outings could mean another rocky start for him, and a field day for Atlanta.

 

Game Details

Game 1

Who: Julio Teheran (5-3, 1.83 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (1-7, 5.20)
Where: Fox SportSouth
When: 9:30 PM EST

Game 2

Who: Ervin Santana (5-2, 4.10 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (3-6m 4,85 ERA)
Where: Fox SportSouth
When: 10:00 PM EST

Game 3

Who: Aaron Harang (4-4, 3.24 ERA) vs. Chase Anderson (4-0, 3.32)
Where: FoxSportSouth
When: 4:00 PM EST


Final Take

I don’t need to spend too much time conveying how your beloved Atlanta Braves are doing, because you know this team as well as I do.  I will say I’ve been pleased with how Jason Heyward is turning things around in the leadoff spot, how B.J. Upton seems truly to have found some ray of light in his approach finally, and how Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton, and Evan Gattis keep pounding the ball.  I’d also be remiss if I didn’t talk about how THRILLED I am about how well Tommy La Stella is playing since called up.  I had no doubts, and I’ll say again – About Time Frank!  I still want to see more patience at the plate from Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons.  And finally, I’m loving how well our bullpen is pitching!  We’ve seen more hiccups from the Braves’ starting rotation lately, but our pen has started to perform flawlessly.

 

Live Open Thread

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