"Now that I've seen the results, yeah, I love pitching here," Teheran said after the Braves' 8-2 win over the Mets on Wednesday.
Teheran won twice at Citi Field last season, throwing a one-hit shutout in June and giving up one run in seven innings in September. He matched zeros for six innings with Noah Syndergaard on Opening Day here this season.
The only thing that made Wednesday different were the five runs the Braves scored in the first inning. Teheran made it look easy from there, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings while never really allowing the Mets to hit anything hard. In fact, according to Statcast™, the Mets had an average exit velocity of just 84.4 mph on 19 balls in play against Teheran.
That's nothing new. In Teheran's eight starts against New York since the start of 2015, the Mets have had an average exit velocity of just 84.8 mph against him. The only pitcher who has done better against them in that time -- with at least 50 balls in play -- is Zack Greinke (84.0 mph in just three starts).
"A lot of those guys don't prefer breaking balls," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Since I've been here, Julio has always had a good slider when he has faced them."
Flowers said he didn't think Teheran was at his best Wednesday.
"I would say he had 'B' stuff, but his competitiveness takes it to the next level," Flowers said.
Teheran showed that off in the fourth inning, when the Mets loaded the bases with none out on a walk and two singles. Pitching with a big lead, Teheran aimed to limit the Mets to a single run in the inning. He did just that, on a Neil Walker sacrifice fly, before retiring Curtis Granderson and Travis d'Arnaud to end the inning.
"He really makes pitches when he needs to," Walker said. "You get a couple hits here and there, and then he finds a way to get a ground ball or get a flyout or get a strikeout. He's very dynamic. He's not a guy that really lights up the radar gun anymore per se, but his fastball plays harder than it reads. He's got some life to it in and out, up and down and he knows how to pitch."
Teheran gave the Braves what they needed Wednesday, helping end a six-game losing streak.They gave him what he needed, with the early runs.
"After that, you have nothing to worry about," Teheran said. "Just go out and make pitches."
Teheran can do that, and he does it more often against the Mets than against anyone else. Even if you add in the games where he faced them in Atlanta, Teheran's ERA against the Mets over his last seven starts is an incredible 0.72.
He knows it, and he knows the Mets will be in Atlanta May 1-4.
"Whenever you have a lineup you do well against and you see it coming up, you're happy," he said.
Teheran and the Braves were happy Wednesday.
Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Braves on Wednesday.