Teheran could benefit from his bid to go the distance

Julio Teheran had not allowed a hit since the fourth inning and he escaped Monday night’s eighth inning having retired each of the previous seven Twins batters he had faced.   Giving him a chance to notch his first shutout and complete game seemed to be more appealing than dipping into an injury-depleted, short-handed bullpen.

Still it was somewhat surprising to see Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez send Teheran back out for the ninth inning having already thrown 109 pitches  — one shy of the highest total he compiled during his Minor League career.  Sure, he was pitching with an extra day of rest and will have another extra day of rest before he starts against the Mets on Sunday night in New York.

But going the distance has become somewhat foreign for the Braves, who have notched the third-fewest complete games (16) in the Majors since the start of the 2008 season.

With that being said, this trend started to change last year when the Braves recorded five complete games, their highest total since 2006.   Braves general manager Frank Wren has urged Minor League managers to push starting pitchers a little bit harder over the past few years and Gonzalez has started to get the kind of pitchers who are capable of going the distance.

Gonzalez’s hope to give Luis Avilan and Cory Gearrin a chance to rest on Monday evaporated when Teheran surrendered a one-out home run to Josh Willingham and then exited when Trevor Plouffe exited with one out in the ninth inning.  But the Braves could reap future benefits from the decision to send Teheran back out for the ninth inning.

This certainly showed Teheran the club was confident in his ability to finish what he started.  At the same time, it gave him a chance to experience the extra adrenaline that comes with this situation without having to first experience this in a one or two-run game.

Teheran ended up throwing 123 pitches before exiting to a standing ovation.  That pitch count ranks as the highest total posted by a Braves pitcher since Kenshin Kawakami threw 125 pitches over seven innings in a 10-inning win over the Dodgers on Aug. 8, 2009.

Gonzalez said sent Teheran out for the ninth inning with the plan to not allow him to throw more than 125 pitches.

Here are the top 10 pitch counts for Braves pitchers since the start of the start of the 2007 season:

125 —  Kawakami  (7 innings) at Dodgers Aug. 8, 2009

123  — Teheran  (8.1 innings)  vs. Twins  May 20, 2013

122 — John Smoltz (8 innings) vs. Nationals April 12, 2007

122  — Tim Hudson (6.2 innings) vs. Phillies  May 25, 2007

122 —  Hudson (8 innings) at Brewers May 27, 2008

122  — Brandon Beachy (9 innings) vs. Marlins May 17, 2012

121  — Javier Vazquez (7.2 innings) vs. Red Sox June 27, 2009

121  — Tommy Hanson (5.1 innings) at D-backs June 10, 2010

120  —  Hudson ( 7.2 innings)  vs. Brewers Sept. 21, 2007

120 —  Jair Jurrjens (6.2 innings) at Pirates April 17, 2009

120 —  Vazquez  (5.1 innings) at Marlins Sept. 2, 2009

 

 

6 Comments

Wondered why so quiet here then I realized no trades from NC. Maybe Wren offers D Lowe a six pack to join the pen.

Thanks Bill about Beachy

Did i see that right the other night? We have a relief pitcher on the DL for anxiety? Whats that about? Our bullbpen is a mess and we are sitting a guy for 2 weeks due to anxiety? Seriously? I dont want to sound insensitive but i guess i am, geez. I would love to hear my boss if i told him i needed a couple weeks off for anxiety.

If you went to your boss and asked for a couple of weeks off for anxiety, you would not have an anxiety disorder. Note the word disorder – it’s not run of the mill anxiety I suspect. He did try to pitch through it but was unsuccessful…. more info here: http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/braves-put-ayala-on-dl-with-anxiety-disorder/nXck9/

I wish we saw more managers push pitchers a little further when they’re still feeling good. They can’t anymore, because if someone gets hurt on pitch 125, the manager takes 100% of the blame for leaving him in too long. In any event, hell of an outing by Teheran, and hell of a streak we got going here.

Two quick notes.
What do you do when Beachy comes back from injury? Do you dare stick Medlen back in an injury depleted bullpen? Hudson and Minor are in for the long haul and how can you move Malholm or Tehran to the Bullpen that way they have pitched?? Do you look to trade Malholm? – doubtful…
Maybe Beachy can go to the bullpen initially?
7 man bullpen – What do you do when Walden comes back next week? All the signs point towards the team going back to a 7 man bullpen, which would mean someone has to go. Some talk has been for LAird, but that is silly. If they want to utilize Gattis as a pinch hitter, they need Laird to remain on the roster for security. Shafer has been awesome and is not going anywhere.
Reed Johnson – one good option. I know they would hate to lose him, but Shafer has made him expendable.
Fransisco – can they convince him to go down for 2 weeks and work on his strikeouts? Johnson can man 3rd for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, he has options left.

Great job Fredi and Frank allowing the team to have options… I

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