WASHINGTON — The Braves won again, defeating the Washington Nationals 6-2 behind starter Julio Teheran and four-run fifth inning that chased Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.
WASHINGTON — It’s not going to garner the national attention of the Final Four, but Julio Teheran vs. Stephen Strasburg qualifies as pretty good theater.
The two starters face each other tonight when the Braves and Washington Nationals meet for the second game of the series. It also will be Teheran’s first start in Nationals Park since Aug. 6 last season when he plunked Bryce Harper on the thigh with a fastball in the fifth inning, igniting a bench-clearing incident. (The two teams met again in Atlanta 10 days later without incident, although Teheran also hit the Nats’ Anthony Rendon that night.)
Harper had homered off Teheran in the third inning before he came up again in the fifth. Here’s a reminder of that moment. You don’t need to be a great lip-reader to tell what Harper yelled at Teheran after being hit.
The Braves won the game 2-1. Teheran, for what it’s worth, denied hitting Harper on purpose. (Chuckles all around.)
Harper, when asked after the game if he was surprised he was hit by a pitch, responded, “I hit that ball pretty far off him, so no, not really.”
Teheran faced Strasburg twice last season. Both had a no-decision in the Braves’ 3-2 win on April 29, and Teheran drew the loss in a 3-2 defeat on May 31. Strasburg left that game after the second inning with a strained oblique.
Strasburg hasn’t beaten the Braves since August of 2012 but his ERA in those five starts since is 2.86.
Only one lineup change for the Braves tonight, with catcher Ryan Doumit starting for Evan Gattis, who is the latest to get a stomach virus that has been going around the clubhouse. (Pitchers Alex Wood and David Hale also have had it.) Gattis is available for pinch-hitting duty.
I’ll have more on the Braves’ pitching staff in a full column later.
Some recent ramblings, on demand . . .
– MyAJC ($): Nationals assumed too much in 2013 — but not now
– MyAJC ($): B.J. Upton is under fire — and he knows it
– MyAJC ($): Teheran does his part but Braves lose anyway
– MyAJC ($): Injuries means Braves have little margin for error
– MyAJC ($): NCAA needs to take the hint, start paying players
– MyAJC ($): Richt has been tough, even if some haven’t noticed
– MyAJC ($):Georgia loses but Fox goes down swinging at NCAA