Posted: 8:37 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Facing Kershaw, Braves need Teheran at his best 

By David O'Brien

 

 LOS ANGELES – Julio Teheran faces Clayton Kershaw tonight in a matchup of aces in the Braves-Dodgers series finale. Needless to say the Braves need Teheran to pitch like the pitcher he’s been most games this season, not the pitcher he’s been in most games on the West Coast, including starts at San Francisco this season and Dodger Stadium in the playoffs last year.

First, let’s focus on Kershaw, who has won two of the past three NL Cy Young awards and is the hottest pitcher in baseball right now. The left-hander is – are you ready for this? — 9-0 with a 0.94 ERA and .151 opponents’ average and four complete games in his past 10 starts, with 95 strikeouts and eight walks in 77 innings. He has allowed just 40 hits in those 10 starts, including a 15-strikeout no-hitter against Colorado on June 18.

He threw a three-hit shutout at San Francisco on Saturday in 113 pitches, the fifth time that Kershaw allowed three  or fewer hits in his past 10 starts and the ninth time he pitched seven or more innings in that stretch.

We’re watching a future Hall of Famer, folks. And for the past couple of months he’s been at absolute peak form. If looking for a positive from Braves’ perspective, well, he’s due to have a mediocre or bad start, right?

It’d probably be more likely to come on the road: Kershaw is 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA and .143 opponents’ average and two complete games in his past five home starts, and he’s 5-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven home starts for the season, with a staggering ratio of 73 strikeouts with five walks in 54 innings.

Opponents are hitting just .189 with a .220 OBP and .288 slugging percentage against the big lefty, including .161/.189/.184 in 87 at-bats by left-handed hitters and .196/.228/.316 in 316 at-bats by righty hitters.

Clayton Kershaw was 9-0 with a 0.94 ERA and .151 opponents’ average and four complete games in his past 10 starts before facing the Braves on Thursday.

Clayton Kershaw was 9-0 with a 0.94 ERA and .151 opponents’ average and four complete games in his past 10 starts before facing the Braves on Thursday. (AP photo)

Hitters are 8-for-64 (.125) against him with runners in scoring position, with five walks and 28 strikeouts.

Against the Braves,  Kershaw has  no decisions in four regular-season starts, despite a 2.45 ERA and .189 opponents’ average. All of those starts were before 2012.

He went 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and .130 opponents’ average in two starts against the Braves in the 2013 division series, allowing six hits and three runs (one earned run) with four walks and 18 strikeouts in 13 innings. Kershaw had 12 strikeouts in seven innings of a Game 1 win in that series, then got no decision when he pitched six innings on short rest in Game 4, allowing three hits and two unearned runs.

Against Kershaw, Justin Upton is 3-for-29 (.103) with two walks and nine strikeouts in regular-season games, Chris Johnson is 1-for-12 – hence Phil Gosselin in the lineup tonight — Ryan Doumit is 3-for-6, and Jason Heyward is 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Heyward is out of the  lineup for a third consecutive day, as expected, recovering from back soreness. Fredi Gonzalez said he hope to start him two or all three games this weekend at San Diego.

No other Brave has more than three official at-bats against Kershaw, and Freddie Freeman (1-for-2) is the only current Brave with a homer against him.

As for Teheran, he’s 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA and .279 opponents’ average in his past six starts,  and 2-3 with a 5.87 ERA and .328 opponents’ average in his past five road starts. For the season, he’s 6-5 with a 4.09 ERA and .265 opponents’ average in 11 road starts, compared to 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA and .191 opponents’ average in 11 home starts.

Teheran said he doesn’t know why he has struggled so much in games on the West Coast, but figures it’s probably drier air that makes it hard for him to grip the ball out here. He gave up seven hits and five runs (four earned) with a career-high five walks in 3 1/3 innings of a May 14 loss at San Francisco, and allowed 10 hits and seven runs in a June 11 loss at Colorado (not West Coast, but definitely dry air).

Here’s the rundown: He’s 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in one start at San Diego, 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts at San Francisco, and Teheran allowed eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings at Dodger Stadium in a Game 3 loss in the division series, his only career start against the Dodgers.

Just three Dodgers have faced, and no one on the active roster has more than three official at-bats against him.

• Etc.

The Braves are 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA and .251 batting average in their past 21 games, and 0-6 in games decided by one run during that stretch. The Braves scored two or fewer runs in eight of those 21 games including four times in the past seven games…

Braves center fielder B. J. Upton is 1-for-9 with one walk and seven strikeouts in the first two games of the series, including four consecutive strikeouts Wednesday. He had an infield single in his first plate appearance of the series opener and struck out in seven of his next eight plate appearances before drawing a 10th-inning walk Wednesday. Upton has struck out 70 times in 202 at-bats over his past 48 games, batting .213 with a .271 OBP and three homers in that period….

Meanwhile, Justin Upton’s mammoth ninth-inning, game-tying homer Wednesday was his team-high 19th of the season and his fourth in close-and-late situations, matching Evan Gattis for the team lead in the latter category.

•  Ok, gotta keep it short today because I spent most of the day on trade-deadline watch. Let’s close with one from the Hook, the late, legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker, here with an assist from Carlos Santana. Click here to see/hear it.

“THE HEALER” by John Lee Hooker (with Carlos Santana)

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker

Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, oh Lord, Lord
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm

Healed me to heal you early one morning
It can heal you the blues can heal you, yeah, yeah
It healed me, healed me, it healed me
I was down, I was down, it healed me

Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Yes it did, yes it did, look now
A woman left me, the blues healed me
My woman left me, left me, early one morning
Blues healed me, it healed me, healed me, yeah, yeah

Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Hmm, have mercy
The blues, the blues is a healer
Blues, blues, is a healing healer

It healed, healed, healed
Heal, heal, heal, heal
All over the world, all over the world
It’s a healer

One night, I was laying down
Feeling so bad, so low, so low
My woman had left me
Blues came along and healed me

Heal, heal, heal, heal
Carlos, it healed me, Carlos
Carlos, it healed me
The blues, it healed, it healed, healer

Hey, hey, healed me, healed me, healer
Hey, blues a healer, the blues a healer
All over the world, all over the world, hmm

Lord, Lord, Lord, blues a healer
All over the world, all over the world
Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Healed me, healed, healed, healed
It healed me, it healed me, to heal me
Can heal you, can heal you, heal you, if you let it

1488 comments
ncscoots
ncscoots

Well, west coaster tonight, so I'd better feed the animals and get a nap. :-) Somebody keep a running count of BJ rags for me, LOL.

ChattTownBrian
ChattTownBrian

Ugh what a rotten day! I sure hate to see Schafer go. :(

Rick_C
Rick_C

Ian Thomas to the DL with shoulder tendinitis.

Double down
Double down

Shafer career WAR. -0.2

BJ as Brave -0.7 2013

-0.1. 2014

I pull for all the Braves to succeed. Hope Shafer catches on with someone and gets a shot at steady, healthy play. He had that one year with Houston but bombed. One more shot would interest me.

LumanHarris
LumanHarris

Talk about arguing a moot point .... I'll go out on a limb and guess that there's not a team out there interested in picking up Schafer right now. 

Old_Man
Old_Man

One lefty in the bullpen?

And he is doing better against RHers this year?

That seems a little sketchy.

Rick_C
Rick_C

"Is this the deal where if someone claims Schafer we can pull him back and work a small trade?"


Not exactly how it works.  They have 10 days to trade him, outright release him, or place him on irrevocable outright waivers.  A team might trade for him if they don't want to risk a team with higher waiver claim priority selecting him (though I doubt that this is likely in Schafer's case).  If they place him on waivers, they can't pull him back, and the highest priority team to claim him would get him.  That team would pay a small waiver fee ($20K), and the prorated major league minimum.  The Braves would pay the remaining balance on his contract.  If no team claims him, the Braves can opt to outright him to the minors, and still owe the balance on his contract.  However, since he has 3 years of service time, he could refuse the assignment and become a free agent.

Old_Man
Old_Man

@DOB

Schafer quottage sorta brought a tear to your eye.  

I hope he gets a shot somewhere and makes it work.

DS1
DS1

@DOB 

Little late for the dance buddy.  Twitter world kinda slow?

:-)

noleee
noleee

@LumanHarris

party pooper, wasn't really an argument, just wanting to get it right

which after a senior moment of mine, i guess we did

ncscoots
ncscoots

@LumanHarris

This could be bad news for TennPaul. Schafer could pass through waivers, accept a minor league assignment, and STILL be in the org. :-)

ncscoots
ncscoots

@Old_Man

Maybe they hold out some hope for Avilan or Venters or both.

noleee
noleee

@Rick_C

but what he asked is true, they can pull him back off waivers, it is not irrevocable iirc

LumanHarris
LumanHarris

@ncscoots @LumanHarris  And be called up when the rosters expand in September .... and make the playoff roster when someone gets injured ... 

DS1
DS1

@ncscoots @Old_Man 

Still, does it make sense to send your other lefty down, when you've been crying you don't have enough lefty arms in the pen?  

There's got to be something else to this story.

Old_Man
Old_Man

@noleee

noleee said I said something true!!!!

Did you guys see that!!!

Rick_C
Rick_C

@noleee No revocable waivers are used to gauge trade interest on players.  Teams can pull a player back if they are claimed on revocable waivers.  When a team DFA's a player, they need to clear irrevocable outright waivers to be sent to the minors.  As "irrevocable" suggests, once the player is placed on it, they can't pull him off.

noleee
noleee

Designated for assignment (or DFA)[1] is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. A player who is designated for assignment is immediately removed from the team's 40-man roster, after which the team must either:[2]

  • return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or
  • make one of the following contractual moves:
    1. Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
    2. Trade the player
    3. Release the player
    4. Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues

Old_Man
Old_Man

@LumanHarris

Good point, Luman.

He hits the ball hard, and he's fast.  So he's not a completely worthless option if you have a crisis putting a 25th man on the playoff roster.

ncscoots
ncscoots

@LumanHarris

This is not something I wish to see TennPaul endure. That would be cruel.

noleee
noleee

@Old_Man @noleee

i guess that is still pending old man, things might be different than they were

noleee
noleee

@Rick_C @noleee

where do you find irrevocable waivers stated? it did not used to be that way

Old_Man
Old_Man

@Bat_Masterson You know, if he started hitting .320 in AAA, stealing bases, hitting gappers, and BJ just really never advanced beyond .215, or regressed, I would not rule out Schafer's stock rising again.  If Boni does well with us, he may be gone to free agency.  We could be right where we were two days ago.

You could see a BJ/Schafer platoon in 2015.

I'm not convinced he's out of the picture for good.

Old_Man
Old_Man

@Bat_Masterson

For his sake, I hope they let him play every damn day, and maybe with some of his creeping maturity he could build up some offseason trade value.  That would be good for him and the Braves.  I would hate to see him ride the pines in AAA.

DS1
DS1

@ncscoots @DS1 @Old_Man 

5 innings   6 hits   1 BB   7 K's

SSS four shore, but I don't know that you can say he wasn't ML ready with that sort of a start.

Bat_Masterson
Bat_Masterson

@Old_Man @Bat_Masterson If?..... If my therapist had taken her clothes off while working on my hand today I wouldn't have ruled out having sex with her then and there. On the floor, on a table, whatever. Big IF   

ncscoots
ncscoots

@WoodyWoodward

Woody, I'd guess, yes, just based on his track record. Whether his workload caused him to be overexposed, or he just lost part of his edge, or just plain regressed, who knows? If he does come back, I'd expect his usage profile to be different and lean him a lot more heavily to being a LOOGY.

DS1
DS1

@WoodyWoodward I know you were asking scoots, but if Avilan is brought back before he's ready, Mr Frodo will keep bringing him into crucial situations, and we'll lose a few more games because of it.

noleee
noleee

@Old_Man @noleee

sorry old man, but they can still trade him for 7 days b4 putting him on waivers

noleee
noleee

@Rick_C @noleee

that does not specify that the waivers have to be irrevocable in a dfa

DS1
DS1

@Bat_Masterson @Old_Man 

We've always got the bat licker............ 

and Richie Cunningham

noleee
noleee

@Rick_C

ok on rethinking this, the opportunity to trade in a dfa is prolly b4 the player is placed on waivers, which can be up to 7 days

another club knowing a player has been DFA'ed might propose a trade if they are really interested

basically DFA gives the club several options over a 7-10 day period

and the waivers are prolly  irrevocable

sorry fer the senior moment

Rick_C
Rick_C

@noleee Than why would anyone use irrevocable waivers?