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Monday, April 19, 2021

Julio Teheran’s spectacular velocity and batter-friendly tendencies

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With a phenomenal 2016 season, Julio Teheran has been voted Atlanta’s starting pitcher in three straight years, including this year as a rookie. It’s all about the arc, the tale of a 24-year-old pitcher pitched up at the plate. Teheran has spent most of his career throwing unhittable, showy fastballs down the heart of the plate that resulted in fly balls.

This season, he resorted to a more demanding pitch that he’s tossing fastballs — which he ditched from start to start — but isn’t always good for the Braves as he loses some ground through the zone and allows some home runs. In last week’s National League Division Series, he allowed the Cardinals to take first place in almost every category, including slugging percentage.

Teheran was in sync in Games 1 and 2 when he pitched to a low ERA and location that slowed down his opponents — in Game 2, a pitcher who hit .385 on the season combined reached base just once with a walk and didn’t reach base at all.

His pitches are slowing down, but his pitches are still terrific. It’s fair to wonder what else he can do.

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