Kris Medlen (7-1) struck out a career high 12 and won his sixth straight decision as the Braves defeated the Rockies, 6-1. He allowed just five hits while walking no one in his second complete game of the season. Medlen now has a 1.56 ERA and a 0.962 WHIP.
Yesterday, against the Rox, Medlen extended his streak of scoreless innings to 34.2, the Braves' longest since Greg Maddux in 2000, before the Rockies scored an unearned run. While Medlen has won five straight starts, he has made 23 starts without a loss:
The great thing for the Braves is how they have used Medlen, first as a reliever appearing in 38 games throwing 54.1 innings, and now as a starter making seven starts going 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA. Medlen missed most of the 2011 with Tommy John surgery, and the way the Braves have used him this season brings up natural comparisons with the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg. And now, with two Strasburg starts remaining before he is shut down, Medlen is undoubtedly the hottest pitcher, and perhaps most valuable pitcher, in the game today.
To see how terrific Medlen was yesterday, let's go to the heat maps...
Medlen only threw 25 pitches yesterday that went for balls, that's less than three per inning.
He threw 63 fastballs and gave up four hits and struck out just three.
Medlen's killer pitch yesterday was his change-up
Medlen recorded seven strikeouts on his change-up and no hits. He also mixed in 23 curves allowing one hit and two whiffs.
Since July 31, Medlen has been brilliant:
In 49.2 innings pitched as a starter, Medlen has allowed 36 hits, struck out 50, and walked (are you ready?) just five.
The Braves have handled him brilliantly and now they are smart enough not to meddle with Medlin.