Teheran still winless at home as he prepares to face Padres

 

Even as we all, or at least most of us, can acknowledge that wins and losses are a faulty and unreliable way to measure a pitcher’s performance, it’s still worth noting that Braves All-Star pitcher Julio Teheran has yet to win a home game this season. It’s almost September, folks.

it's almost September, and Braves All-Star and three-time Opening Day pitcher Julio Teheran still doesn't have a home win this season. He'll go for it again Tuesday vs. the Padres. (Getty Images)

it’s almost September, and Braves All-Star and three-time Opening Day pitcher Julio Teheran still doesn’t have a home win this season. He’ll go for it again Tuesday vs. the Padres. (Getty Images)

And it’s not just that Teheran gone winless (0-5) despite a solid 3.22 ERA and .232 opponents’ average in 13 home starts entering his start Tuesday night against the Padres. It’s that the Braves have lost 12 of his 13 home starts. That’s just hard to fathom.

For those pointing to him as this year’s model of Shelby Miller, there are obviously similarities in their terrible run support and rotten luck. But consider that Miller had two wins in his first three home starts, the team scoring three and nine runs while he was in the game in those two wins.

Teheran, who is 3-4 with a 3.07 ERA and .203 OA in 10 road starts, has by far the worst run support among major league starters this season at 2.9 runs per nine innings pitched. That’s more than half a run lower than the next-worst support, Ervin Santana’s 3.54 with Minnesota.

And it’s even worse, a lot worse, at home for Teheran. The man has gotten barely two support runs (2.07) per nine inning pitched this season at Turner Field. Miller received an also-terrible 2.6 support runs per nine innings at home, still terrible but a half-run above Teheran’s home support this season.

Teheran hasn’t been the same pitcher in the second half, slowed first by a thigh infection and then a strain in the right latissimus dorsi area of his back, which recurred and required a DL stint.

He’s 0-2 with a 4.99 ERA and .306 opponents’ average in seven starts during July and August, after ranking among major league leaders with a 2.46 ERA and .183 OA in 16 starts through the end of June. The Braves have lost in six of his seven starts during the past two months and lost in 18 of his 23 overall starts this season.

The Braves scored four runs three times while Teheran was in games in his past seven starts, after doing that in none of his first 12 starts and twice in his 16 starts through June, back when four support runs would’ve virtually guaranteed a win with the way Teheran was dealing.

Not that he’s getting abundant support these days. Not hardly, at least not on a consistent basis, as the Braves also scored one or no runs while he was in three of his past five starts and two runs while he was in another start during that span.

The Braves scored two or fewer runs while he was in the game in 11 of his 13 home starts so far this season, and scored one or no runs while he was in seven of those games.

Teheran pitched eight scoreless innings of five-hit ball with no walks and seven strikeouts in a June 25 home against the Mets and the Braves lost in extra innings. He pitched seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball against the Rockies and got no decision in a 1-0 Braves win – the only time they’ve won in a Teheran home start this season.

Maybe San Diego is the team to get him off the home schneid. Against the Padres Teheran is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts since the beginning of the 2014 season, including a June 8 win this season at San Diego when he allowed two runs, five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

Also, this is a struggling Padres team of late, and pretty punchless without Matt Kemp in their lineup (he was traded to the Braves at the end of July). The Padres hit just .202 and posted a 4.40 ERA during a 5-10 stretch since Aug. 13. They scored two or fewer runs in eight of those 15 games and went homerless in four of their past six.

Against Teheran, Yangervis Solarte is 5-for-9 with a homer, Wil Myers is 2-for-7 with two homers, Alexi Amarista is 3-for-16 and Jon Jay is 1-for-9.

• Facing Edwin Jackson: Another factor working in favor of a possible Teheran win is the opposing pitcher, Edwin Jackson. He’s 3-3 with a 5.66 ERA and .269 opponents’ average in seven starts since moving into the rotation in mid-July, after posting a 5.91 ERA in eight relief appearances.

However, Jackson is 0-2 with a 13.00 ERA and .390 opponents’ average in his past two starts (at Tampa Bay and home vs. Cubs), after going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and .189 OA in his previous two (home vs. Brewers and at Pittsburgh).

The veteran right-hander has allowed 16 hits, four homers and seven walks in nine combined innings over his past two starts. In 41 1/3 innings as a starter this season, he has 25 strikeouts with 20 walks and six homers allowed.

Jackson, who spent half a season with the Braves as a reliever in 2015, has long struggled against them. He’s 0-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 career games (seven starts) against the Braves, including 0-4 with a 5.63 ERA as a starter. He’s allowed nine homers in 40 innings of seven starts against the Braves, including three homers in 11 1/3 innings of two starts at Turner Field.

Jackson has a 6.27 ERA and .282 opponents’ average in five road games (three starts) this season with almost as many walks (11) as strikeouts (12) in 18 2/3 innings.

Against Jackson, Freddie Freeman is 7-for-17 with two homers, Kemp is 6-for-19 with two homers, Nick Markakis is 8-for-22 and Gordon Beckham is 8-for-14 with one homer.

• Kemp vs. Padres: The Padres traded him to the Braves one month ago, and Matt Kemp has provided a boost to the lineup with his bat and just his presence hitting behind Freeman and in front of Markakis. Kemp is 6-for-19 with two homers against tonight’s Padres starter, Edwin Jackson.

This will be his first time facing the Padres with a team other than the Dodgers. In nine seasons with L.A., Kemp played 123 games against the Padres and hit .296 with 24 doubles, a triple, 17 homers and 63 RBIs, with a .358 OBP and .479 slugging percentage. His teams were 72-51 against the Padres in those games.

• Etc.

In Freddie Freeman’s past 19 games against the Padres, he’s 27-for-72 (.375) with nine extra-base hits (two homers), a .446 OBP and .553 slugging percentage. But the Braves are just 7-12 in those games….

The Braves are just 7-16 against the Padres since the beginning of the 2013 season. San Diego has a 2.63 ERA to Atlanta’s 4.12 in those games, and the Padres have out-homered the Braves 24-11 and outscored them 99-70.

• I’ll close with another epic tune from Van the Man, this one at the end of Side 1 on his classic Saint Dominic’s Preview album.

“LISTEN TO THE LION” by Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison’s Saint Dominic’s Preview

And all my love come down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
Oh, listen listen
To the lion
Oh, listen listen listen
To the lion…
Inside of me
Oh, oh, oh

And I shall search my soul
I shall search my very soul
And I shall search my very soul
I shall search my very so-o-oul

For the lion
For the lion
For the lion
For the lion…
Inside of me
Oh, oh, yeah

And all my tears have flown
All my tears like water flown
And all my tears like water flown
All my tears like-a water flown

For the lion
For the lion
For the lion
For the lion…
Inside of me

[growling, scatting, etc.]

Listen to the lion [repeated 14 times]

[more scatting]

And we sailed, and we sailed…
And we sailed, and we sailed…
And we sailed, and we sailed…
… sailed to Caledonia

And we sailed, and we sailed,
And we sailed, and we sailed, and we sailed…
Away from Denmark
Way up to Caledonia
Away from Denmark
Way up to Caledonia

And we sailed, and we sailed, and we sailed…
All around the World
And we sailed…, and we sailed…, and we sailed…
Looking for a brand new start

And we sailed…
And we sailed, and we sailed…
All around the World
… a brand new start

Looking for a brand new start
Looking for a brand new start
Looking for a brand new start

And we sailed, and we sailed, and we sailed…
And we sailed…
Away from the Golden Gate
Way up to the New York City


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