Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By JAY CLEMONS  |  Last updated 9/10/13
Here are three things we learned from the Braves' 4-3 win over the Marlins, aside from how Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis (two RBI, three runs, four hits) look pretty good as a 3-4 combo in the lineup. 1. In two weeks, Luis Ayala not Craig Kimbrel or Jordan Walden might get credit for the bullpen's seminal moment of the season OK, so the majority of Marlins-Braves tilts have been largely forgettable this year. That's the reality of two clubs separated by 28 12 games in the division standings. However, Atlanta and Miami fans must have been simultaneously intrigued during the seventh inning, when the Braves bullpen nursing a one-run lead with two out was obligated to face Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton with the bases loaded. For various reasons nagging injuries, avoidance from opposing pitchers, lack of plate protection in the Miami lineup Stanton will fall considerably short of last season's tallies of 37 homers, 86 RBI, 75 runs and .290 batting average. But for one evening, one of baseball brightest 23-and-under stars had a chance at short-term redemption, an opportunity to find temporary salvation from a season that must have seemed interminable, at times. In the 7th, with Chris Coghlan, Ed Lucas and Christian Yelich on the base paths, Stanton strode to the plate, eyes wide from the anticipation of playing the conquering hero against the National League's best team. Ayala, fresh from a quick warmup session in the bullpen and sharp from a near-flawless outing on Monday, threw an accurate strike in his first delivery. The second pitch elicited a hard-swing foul. The third pitch was hardly a throwaway; in fact, it had enough bite to lure Stanton into swinging for a second time this time without contact. On the strength of just three pitches, Ayala stealthily diffused the tense situation in the 7th, while preserving the possibility of Julio Teheran's 12th victory for another inning. Gripping drama ... for at least a few minutes. 2. Perhaps Teheran should start Game 3 of the National League Division Series In previous sessions of handling this topic, I stumped for Teheran (12-7, 3.05 ERA, 154 strikeouts) to be the Braves' Game 2 starter during the NLDS round, thinking the 22-year-old fireballer would be better suited for Turner Field. As in, it would be easier to harness and then channel the adrenaline that comes with a young star's first stab at playoff pressure. But recent results speak louder than the speculative thoughts of a random writer: Of his last six starts on the road, spanning 38.1 innings, Teheran (six strikeouts, three runs allowed on Tuesday) boasts two wins and a 2.83 ERA. Citing the bigger picture ... from June 5 to Aug. 30, spanning 16 outings, Teheran also allowed two or less runs 11 times. In that span, the Braves rookie has notched eight-plus strikeouts six times, as well including the Aug. 24 and 30 starts. And for the entire year, Teheran has recorded three or less walks in 26 of 27 outings. Bottom line: If the Braves offense isn't running at peak form during the playoffs, the pitching order for Games 1, 2, 3 might not matter amongst Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Teheran. But at face value, Atlanta fans might be more comfortable with Teheran's caged heat at homer-friendly stadiums like PNC Park (Pittsburgh) or Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) during the NLDS. 3. Chris Johnson can just about see the light at the end of the batting-title tunnel Including Tuesday's effort, Johnson (482 PAs) is just 19 plate appearances shy of officially qualifying for the NL batting title. And counting the two hits against the Marlins, Johnson (.330 batting) currently holds slim, but negotiable leads over Michael Cuddyer (.327), Jayson Werth (.324), Andrew McCutchen (.324) and Yadier Molina (.320). If we had to guess ... Johnson's free-and-clear magic number for claiming the title resides in the neighborhood of .329. Of Atlanta's final 18 games, with conservative estimates of 14 starts and 61 total at-bats, Johnson essentially needs 20 more hits to remain at .329 or .330 and presumably clinch the batting crown. Incidentally, only two primary third basemen have won NL batting titles in the last 29 years ... and both were Braves Terry Pendleton (1991) and Chipper Jones (2006).
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Le'Veon Bell on precipice of amazing Steelers record

Andre Ward: A champion’s career comes to a close

Tigers will not retain manager Brad Ausmus

15 key questions for NFL Week 3

Why USC-Cal will be best CFB game this weekend

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL won’t rule out Ezekiel Elliott being suspended for Week 3

Players with most to prove heading into NBA season

CC Sabathia not worried about booze-fueled celebrations

Belichick defers Hernandez CTE, lawsuit questions

Tom Brady claims sunburn can be avoided by drinking a lot of water

Knicks expect Carmelo Anthony to open camp with team

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker