PHILADELPHIA -- Over his first seven weeks in a Braves uniform, Dallas Keuchel showed flashes of being the veteran, ace-caliber pitcher who Atlanta was hoping would anchor its rotation for a deep postseason run.
Then he turned in arguably the worst outing of his career on Aug. 8 against the last-place Marlins. After being tagged for eight runs on 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings, Keuchel's ERA suddenly sat at 4.83, the highest it had been this late in a season since 2016.
Keuchel, however, has spent the past month reasserting his dominance on opposing hitters and, in turn, reassuring the Braves that they signed exactly the pitcher they needed. That continued in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, as Keuchel limited Philadelphia to just one run on three hits over six innings.
Keuchel's performance once again become the norm for the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, who has pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in six consecutive starts. That's the longest single-season streak by a Braves left-hander since Tom Glavine also did it in six straight outings in 2002.
Keuchel has a 0.97 ERA in his six starts since that hiccup in Miami, good for the second-best mark in the Majors during that span. He's allowed only four runs over 37 innings, which is half as many as he allowed in that 3 2/3-inning effort against the Marlins. Keuchel has also lowered his season ERA to a respectable 3.35 -- and that number would fall all the way to 2.71 in his 15 starts if that rocky outing last month was removed from the group.
Atlanta needed a dominant outing on Wednesday, as the offense managed only seven hits (one of which was a single by Keuchel). Tyler Flowers provided the lone run support with a three-run homer in the fourth inning, while the bullpen tossed three scoreless frames, including an immaculate inning by Chris Martin in the seventh.