Sunday, May 3, 2015
1:35 PM EDT
Johnny Cueto vs. Julio Teheran
The Reds will try to harvest a third victory in four games against the Braves on Sunday in Atlanta. If the Reds are successful, they will have to overcome Julio Teheran, the pitcher many considered to be Atlanta's ace to start the 2015 season.
Teheran's start to 2015 has been disappointing to Braves fans and some have speculated whether his poor performance is due to undisclosed injuries. In 2014, Teheran was selected to the All Star Game and finished the season with a 2.89 ERA in 222 innings on his way to winning 14 games. In 2015, however, Teheran has an ERA of 4.67 and his walk rate has almost doubled from 2.1 per 9 innings to 4.0 per 9 innings. While his strikeout rate remains relatively consistent with 2013, hovering around 7.6 per 9, his WHIP has exploded to 1.556.
Teheran's 2015 struggles should be a welcome sign for the Reds. In his 2 starts against the Reds in 2014, he did not give up a run in 14 innings. In fact, over their careers, the average OBP of players active on the Reds' roster against Teheran is .226. It should be noted that the only Red with more than 10 plate appearances against Teheran is Marlon Byrd, who during that time has posted a very 2015 line of .118/.167/.235.
Luckily for the Reds, they will have Johnny Cueto countering their offensive futility against Teheran. Johnny Beisbol should be used to a lack of run support by now, as he is only 2-2 despite posting a 1.95 ERA in 5 starts. During that time, his WHIP is a paltry 0.730 and he is striking out batters 9.2 times every 9 innings. Cueto's control may be his most remarkable improvement in 2015, as he is averaging only 1.2 walks for every 9 innings of play. The two active Braves hitters with success against Cueto are Eric Young Jr. and Cameron Maybin. In the SSS of 13 plate appearances, Young has collected 4 hits in twelve at-bats. In the even smaller sample size of 12 plate appearances, Maybin has hit a double and a home run against Johnny. Luckily, these are the only individuals on the Braves who have multiple hits off Cueto in their careers.
If the Reds win today, their reward will be a 13-12 record and an off day to prepare for a 3 game series in Pittsburgh. If they lose, they will have a sub-.500 record and an extra day to think about what they did wrong. Go Reds! Beat those Barves!