For the third time, the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 thanks to a walk-off single from A.J. Pierzynski in the bottom of the ninth inning. Andrelton Simmons started Atlanta off with an infield single that turned into a double after Cody Ashe's throwing error, and after stealing third base set Pierzynski up for the heroics and gave the Braves a three-game sweep of the Phillies.
The walk-off ended things on a good note after Julio Teheran's impressive outing turned sour in the final frame.
Teheran threw wonderfully in this one, and had six perfect innings under his belt before Freddy Galvis singled to start the seventh inning. Teheran held the Phillies to just three singles over eight innings before allowing back-to-back hits with one out in the ninth. That would be all for Teheran as it was still a one-run game, and he was eventually charged with an earned run once Aaron Altherr came around to score.
ESPN's Keith Law criticized Fredi Gonzalez's decision to send Teheran back out to the mound in this situation, and while I'm sure Teheran was dying to try and get the complete game shutout, given how things unfolded Law's tweets carry some weight — even if Teheran had gone three up, three down in the ninth I think his comments bring up some interesting points:
Why the hell did Teheran bat in the bottom of the 8th? He's gone through the Phils' order exacty three times and it's a 1-0 game.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) September 20, 2015
Fredi appears to have had no plan whatsoever for this inning.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) September 20, 2015
I didn't think much about the decision to take Teheran out at the time given how well he'd pitched, the Phillies lineup and the fact that the Braves aren't exactly competing for a playoff berth. What did you guys think about the decision and Law's comments on the matter? He's never been one to shy away from criticizing Fredi.
Either way, Teheran finished the day with 8.1 innings pitched, five hits, one earned run, one walk and eight strikeouts. That's a pretty good start, and it's also the first time this season that Teheran has pitched into the ninth inning.
This marks the first time that the Braves have won three straight games since August 6-8, when Atlanta won the first three games of a four-game series against the Marlins. With this series, the Braves put a bit of distance between themselves and the Phillies for the worst record in baseball... but is that really a good thing?
The decision is yours.