Braves starting pitchers entered Sunday leading the Majors with a 1.46 ERA, but Julio Teheran's most recent start last Wednesday might be the group's most impressive showing yet.
Teheran surrendered only three hits in a complete-game shutout, becoming the first opposing pitcher to hold the Phillies scoreless over nine innings in the 10-year history of Citizens Bank Park.
"Just watching him, he was really mixing his speeds on his fastball," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said following his club's loss to Teheran. "Anywhere from 86- to 92-93 [mph] with the fastball -- different movements with each speed. Guys were not able to really gauge the fastball and the movement, and he mixed in his other pitches. Pitched a heck of a game."
Teheran managed to achieve quality starts in each of his three outings preceding his gem in Philadelphia, despite struggling to command his slider. After walking four against the Nationals on April 11, he issued no walks against the Phillies.
"The whole game, I was just trying to throw strikes," Teheran said. "All of my pitches were working"
Teheran will pitch on Monday night opposite Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler, who also has all of his pitches working.
After a strong Spring Training, Koehler had continued his impressive pitching into the season. A year ago, the right-hander, who attended Stony Brook, gained some valuable experience by pitching in September.
"I see such a confident guy," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I look back to last year's Spring Training. He really struggled, threw up in the zone a lot. The ability to give him a year's worth of starts was huge. It helped him to really be a better pitcher, command the strike zone.
"At times, I think he still rushes a little bit and falls behind some hitters. But at the same time, too, he's got great stuff to execute his pitches. I think you saw [Tuesday night] after the fifth inning. It's good to see that when you're kind of reaching that late [in the game], 95-pitch count, it's nice to see a guy power through that and walk away with a positive feeling and be able to execute those pitches."
In his last start, Koehler helped the Marlins snap their eight-game losing streak, as he threw seven shutout innings against the Nationals. Koehler also got the attention of Washington shortstop Ian Desmond when he ran a fastball inside.
Benches cleared, but order was quickly restored. In the process, Koehler noted that he is simply trying to establish the inside part of the plate.
"No matter who you are, you have to be able to throw it in the inside part of the plate or you'll get hammered," Koehler said. "I'm not saying you have to throw 100 pitches, 90 of them on the inside corner.
"Just let teams know you will throw inside off the plate and inside for a strike, and it will help everybody out. It will help the bullpen out later in games. That's our job."
Marlins: Road woes have continued
• If the Marlins are to move up in the standings, they must improve how they perform on the road. They head into Atlanta, a place they haven't done well over the years, winless on the road this season.
They dropped all six in their first road trip, and the pitching really struggled. The staff ERA was 6.16, and they surrendered seven homers in stops at Washington and Philadelphia. In 2013, the Marlins went 4-5 at Turner Field with a 4.00 ERA.
Since 2011, the Marlins have finished last in the division for three straight seasons. In that span, they are 10-17 at Turner Field with an ERA of 4.39.
Braves: B.J. Upton surging
• Since beginning the season in a 1-for-17 slump with 10 strikeouts, Atlanta center fielder B.J. Upton is batting .255 (14-for-55) with 12 strikeouts. He currently owns a five-game hitting streak and has hit safely in seven of the past eight games.
Upton is batting .286 (10-for-35) with seven runs scored since April 12. The former Tampa Bay Ray only scored six runs in 103 plate appearances in April 2013.
With a three-game series against the Marlins upon the Braves, Upton hopes to reverse his fortunes against the Marlins. He has batted just .215 (38-for-177) in 200 career plate appearances against Miami.
• Casey McGehee has 15 RBIs this year. From the third-base position in 2013, the Marlins had just 44 RBIs.
• Christian Yelich extended his personal best hitting streak to 14 games on Sunday. He finished 1-for-4 in a 3-2 win against the Mariners.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.