ATLANTA -- Outside of six pitches in June, Julio Teheran has been every bit as impressive this month as he was during the latter part of April and entirety of May. Unfortunately, for the Braves right-hander, those six pitches have resulted in home runs, most of which have proven costly
ATLANTA -- Outside of six pitches in June, Julio Teheran has been every bit as impressive this month as he was during the latter part of April and entirety of May. Unfortunately, for the Braves right-hander, those six pitches have resulted in home runs, most of which have proven costly and further highlighted the lack of run support he's received this season.
Teheran retired 21 of the 26 batters he faced during Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Reds and allowed just one baserunner after the first inning. But the efficiency he displayed during his final six innings did not erase the frustration created by the three-run home run Jay Bruce hit in the opening frame.
"I made that pitch just to see how he would react, and that was a big mistake for me," Teheran said of the 2-2 slider that came back over the middle of the plate for Bruce to deposit over the right-center-field wall.
Each of the eight runs Teheran has surrendered over the 20 2/3 innings through June's first three starts have come courtesy of home runs. It might be alarming that six home runs have been hit during this span off the righty, but five of them have been solo shots, and opponents have recorded just five other hits against the Braves' ace in June.
"Other than the home runs, I think I'm doing very good," Teheran said. "I'm making pitches. It's tough whenever you don't make a pitch and give up a homer. That's something that has been happening. But I'm trying to work on it."
Teheran's frustrating home-run trend started on June 3, when each of the three hits he surrendered against the Dodgers over 5 2/3 innings were solo homers (two of which were hit by Corey Seager). He allowed two more solo homers to Padres first baseman Wil Myers during last week's win in San Diego, and he paid the price for the slider that Bruce belted on Tuesday night.
Within this month's first three starts, Teheran has allowed one less homer than he did within the 11 starts he combined to make in April and May combined. But opposing hitters have hit just .153 with a .197 on-base percentage against the right-hander in June.
"It's maybe just one pitch that misses location, or he doesn't get it all and it stays up in the zone," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
While the home runs might cause some momentary frustration, the Braves have had little reason to be frustrated by anything they've seen from Teheran, who has posted a 2.13 ERA over his past 11 starts. Unfortunately, this stretch has netted just two wins for the hard-luck hurler, who has received three runs or less of run support in 13 of his 14 starts this season.
"He's been pitching phenomenal," Braves outfielder Mallex Smith said. "We just haven't been backing him up. I know that has to sting."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.