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Kris Medlen has been ridiculous

Aug 29, 2012, 9:15 AM EST

Kris Medlen

Kris Medlen was an afterthought. A bullpen arm or an emergency starter. A Tommy John casualty who, while likely figuring to be part of the back end of the Braves rotation one day, wasn’t supposed to be the ace. Certainly not in the 2012 pennant drive.  But here we are.

Medlen extended his scoreless innings streak to 28 and a third innings last night, blanking the Padres for eight efficient innings. It was the 17th straight Medlen start the Braves have won, stretching back to 2010. That’s a bit of a gimmick stat given the time frame, but that’s the most consecutive starts a team has won for a dude since the Cardinals won 17 straight for Chris Carpenter back in 2005.

It’s worth noting, of course, that his recent hot stretch has coincided with starts against some less-than-threatening offenses. Since joining the rotation he’s faced the Marlins, the Astros, the Mets and the Padres twice. He did shut the Nationals out for seven innings, and the Padres offense, while not impressive overall, has been scoring a lot of runs of late, so it’s not nothing.

But you can’t pick your opponent, and obviously the important part of this is that the Braves biggest weakness this year — consistency in the rotation — has been squarely addressed by Medlen’s recent tear.

Also important: he works fast and throws strikes and that’s just aesthetically pleasing. Dear God why don’t more pitchers do that?

  1. dominikus13 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Reblogged this on dominikus13.

    • CJ - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      you mean I can re-read everything I just read on your super special site just by clicking on that link?!

    • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      100% guaranteed fail each and every time.

      I got to think that is some sort of ridiculous automated function. The wording is too similar each and every time someone does it.

      • Jeremy T - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        It is, it’s a WordPress thing

  2. bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I guess it can no longer be said that he is simply ‘Medlen’ around with becoming a Starter.

    rimshot! Heyyyy – oooooh!

    • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Unidentified Nats fan: “We would have won the division if it wasn’t for you Medlen Braves!” (shaking fist being led away to the offseason)

      • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        Stupundous!

        Or, perhaps . . .

        “We would have won the division if it wasn’t for that Medlen kid!”

        (of course we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves . . .)

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Of course. But just couldn’t resist the urge to plug in a Scooby-Doo reference.

  3. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    This has been fun, but I’ll still worry about his durability right up until whichever day the season ends. I’m not saying I believe Medlen will break down or that I ever disagreed with putting him in the rotation, but he’s getting his first starter’s workload since TJ surgery after working 55 innings out of the bullpen earlier in the season. It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that he could hit a wall at some point, which would be a shame because right now he’s shaping up as Atlanta’s No. 2 starter in a theoretical playoff series.

    • CJ - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Don’t worry, he still has a ways to go to 180 innings and the Rizzo Rules kick in. Oh wait, he’ll be beating the Nats in the postseason, not playing for them. Carry on…

  4. frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Maybe its the opponents, but I prefer to see the consistency. I love this guy!

    Yes he shut out the Nationals for 7, but more importantly in that game – he was our stopper and prevented us from getting swept in DC. I cannot begin to describe how huge that was in my eyes – after losing the first 2 to the Nats, September just around the corner, the division starting to slip away, and memories of last year still fresh in mind.

    Now Tommy needs to come through tonight to keep the pressure on DC…

  5. unlost1 - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    they need to shut him down before he goes over 100 innings, right?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    As was pointed out elsewhere on the interwebs yesterday (fangraphs maybe?) he had tommy john surgery right around the same time as Strasburg. The Braves wanted to limit his innings, so they started him in the pen and he is now good to go through the postseason. On the flip side, if their roles were reversed perhaps it would be the Braves who hold a three game lead over Washington while contemplating shutting down their studly young pitcher.

    • jon623 - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:44 PM

      And for the sake of conversation, which situation would you consider more favorable – having a pitcher picking up steam and closing on a lead, or a pitcher being shut down for the year while the team is just 3 games up? I don’t know, I feel I’d almost prefer to be in the Braves’ spot. That said, it’s the Nats’ division to lose.

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