Teheran holds steady, keeps rolling

Julio Teheran was not rattled after giving up a 450-foot home run to Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning on Friday night.

And why should he be, considering he ranks among the best pitchers in the National League this season.

Teheran beat the Miami Marlins to put the Atlanta Braves back into first place and snap a four-game losing streak.

He now ranks third in the majors in ERA, basically even with Johnny Cueto at 1.83, trailing only Jeff Samardzija’s 1.67.

How he’s winning

One of the areas in which Teheran is excelling is in retiring left-handed hitters. Marlins lefties were 0 for 9 against him, dropping left-handed hitters to a .156 batting average against him, including 4 for 54 in at-bats that end with an offspeed pitch.

Julio Teheran

Julio Teheran

#49 SP
Atlanta Braves

2014 STATS

  • GM12
  • W5

  • L3

  • BB20

  • K66

  • ERA1.83

This is a huge improvement for Teheran from last season, when lefties hit .289 with an .823 OPS against him. He’s nearly doubled the rate of how often he’s gotten hitters to miss his fastball and sinker, from 13 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2014.

Teheran keeps the ball away from left-handed hitters like few others. He’s thrown 68 percent of pitches to lefties to the outer third of the plate or off the outside corner. The only pitcher with a higher percentage is Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros, 73 percent.

Teheran is also benefiting from an outfield defense that has the ability to go back and chase fly balls like few other teams.

Stanton’s home run was the only fly-ball hit for the Marlins. Over the last three starts for Teheran (two of which were scoreless), opponents are 1 for 28 when they hit a fly ball that doesn’t leave the ballpark.

Now about that home run

The home run by Stanton was his fifth of at least 450 feet this season. That’s more than any other team in 2014. His 20 homers of at least that distance over the last five seasons are five more than the player with the next-most, Justin Upton.

Stanton now has 41 home runs at Marlins Park since the ballpark opened in 2012. No one else has more than seven.