The first showdown of Colombian-born starting pitchers in major league baseball history pitted Julio Teheran against Jose Quintana; two young, All-Star caliber hurlers who have enjoyed a glorious climb to the top of their respective rotations and leagues.
So naturally they were both pretty bad on Saturday against mediocre and awful offenses, respectively.
1. Todd Frazier began his bid to take over the game early, lacing a deep drive to center in the second that flopped out of the top of Braves centerfielder Ender Inciarte‘s glove and over the wall to stake Quintana to an early 2-1 lead. In the third, he capped off a run of three-straight RBI hits by the Sox by smacking a double to left to stretch the lead to 5-1, and he capped off his heroics in the fifth by shuffling to right to field an A.J. Pierzynski grounder before firing a throw to third while falling away from first.
2. One day after Chris Sale inexplicably couldn’t keep the dinger-starved Braves in the yard, Quintana matched the feat by hanging a curveball for a Gordon Beckham solo shot in the first, hanging another curveball for a Jeff Francouer two-run shot in the fourth, and continued efforts to pitch Freddie Freeman outside resulted in a liner to left that seemed to kick off the heel of Melky Cabrera‘s glove and go over the wall to make things white knuckle from the sixth inning on.
Six innings, four earned and three home runs to the Braves is no way to build an All-Star case.
3. With David Robertson mysteriously unavailable, Nate Jones nailed down four extremely nerve-wracking outs to hold down a one-run win. After Matt Albers was used to try to deal with right-handers in the eighth and promptly allowed a double to Chase d’Arnaud, Jones struck out Nick Markakis with a dipping center-cut slider to strand him.
A would-be easy ninth inning (he started off by striking out Francouer, got a comebacker to the mound from Adonis Garcia, a seeing-eye chopper from Pierzynski, and struck out Erick Aybar) for Jones got complicated by some fluke occurrences. He couldn’t find the Garcia comebacker after it struck him in the butt, and Garcia managed to screen the Sox defense from the Pierzynski chopper while narrowly avoiding it himself. Jones let runners advance when he dumped a slider against Aybar into the dirt, but recovered for the strikeout and got an easy grounder to third from d’Arnaud to end it.
4. Tyler Flowers left the game in the second inning with a curious left hand strain injury, setting up a peculiar moment where fans cheered as Pierzynski came out to warm up, and Flowers trudged off the field in pain. Even more curiously, Teheran completely fell apart after Flowers left.
Seriously, how are these two in a catching rotation with one another again?
Team Record: 45-42
Next game is Sunday at 1:10pm CT vs. Atlanta on CSN
Lead Image Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki // USA Today Sports Images