Tom Koehler of the Marlins is feeling a little bit better tonight. Maybe some people will stop talking about the six homers he has allowed to Bryce Harper over the years.
At least until the Nationals and Marlins tangle again June 19-21. (Actually, the Nats play the Braves six more times before they play the Marlins again: May 19-21 and June 12-14).
Koehler can thank the Brave Julio Teheran for taking his place on the mantle: the Braves right-hander has now allowed seven homers to the Nationals’ young slugger.
In his career versus Teheran, Harper is hitting .454 (15-for-33) with seven homers and 17 RBIs.
So Koehler and Teheran combined have given up 13 Harper HRs. Dillon Gee and Sean O’Sullivan have each allowed Harper home runs three times.
Koehler gave up four Harper homers in 2015 over 12 plate appearances, one homer in 2013, and one homer in 2016.
Teheran allowed two homers to Bryce in 2013 and 2016, and now two more in his first matchup with him in 2017. He also gave up one to Harper in 2015. Harper now has 15 career hits versus Teheran, the most against any pitcher he’s faced.
Harper homered in the first inning Wednesday, hitting a solo shot, his fifth of the season, on the first pitch. In the top of the second, Harper slammed his third career grand slam on the second offering from Teheran in the at-bat, a changeup that Harper took over the center field wall. In the top of the fourth, Adam Eaton scored on a wild pitch from Teheran to Harper. Teheran eventually intentionally walked Harper that time.
Harper went 4-for-4 with two homers, a double and five RBIs. He is now hitting .404 and his OPS is 1.362. He has six homers in 14 games this season.
F.P. Santangelo brought up a good point on the the MASN broadcast about resting guys against the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in Thursday’s series finale. Among Santangelo’s observations: It can be tough for hitters to bounce back after facing the knuckleballer. The Nationals are slogging through a long road trip. They’ve already won the series in Atlanta. Jayson Werth likely will need a few days to nurse his groin injury. A day off Thursday for a starter gives him an extra day to prepare for the Mets. And you have Stephen Strasburg pitching for your side.
Another Ross is pitching well enough to be moved up.
Right-hander Greg Ross was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse after a pair of wins at Double-A to begin the season. The 2011 18th-rounder out of Frostburg State is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings for Harrisburg in wins April 10 and 15. He has eight strikeouts and two walks, with four runs allowed. Lefty reliever R.C. Orlan was moved up to Harrisburg. He is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA and one save in three appearances for High Single-A Potomac.
Right-hander Joe Ross got the win for the Nationals with seven innings in Atlanta Wednesday, in his first big league start of the season.