On this date a year ago the Braves were in first place, completing a sweep of the Mets for their 7th win in a row. Julio allowed just four hits and one run, lowering his ERA to 2.29.
He’s been every bit as good at Turner Field this year, where his ERA is 2.35. JT has allowed just 27 hits in 46 home innings, striking out 40, walking 10. In other words, he’s been an ace.
On the road, he’s been Mark Redman: 7.40 ERA, 1.932 WHIP, 34 K’s and 21 walks in 48-2/3 innings. Julio has always been better at The Ted, but each year the disparity has grown. You’re not surprised when a Tom Koehler puts up such splits. But Juley’s road struggles are baffling.
Fortunately he’s pitching in the friendly confines tonight, and after consecutive wins over the Nats a slither of optimism has returned to Braves fandom. The upcoming schedule adds to the good feelings; the first half ends with series against the Phils, Rockies and Brewers.
Of course we said the same thing a year ago, but the Braves finishing the first half winning only 3 of 8 against Arizona, the Mets and Cubs. Two weeks later, they went 0-8 on a fateful West Coast trip that essentially ended their season.