Atlanta Braves

Kris Medlen Dominant Again for Atlanta Braves, Should Start Wild-Card Playoff

Kris Medlen has been dominant on the mound for the Atlanta Braves and should start the one-game playoff if the Braves can't win the N.L. East.
Kris Medlen has been dominant on the mound for the Atlanta Braves and should start the one-game playoff if the Braves can't win the N.L. East.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Chris StephensCorrespondent IIAugust 23, 2012

Kris Medlen has been dominant for the Atlanta Braves since returning to the starting rotation, and has made the case to be Atlanta's starter for a one-game playoff. Of course, that's assuming the Braves don't win the National League East.

For those who saw Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals, Medlen showed he is the No. 1 guy for Atlanta. He went seven innings, gave up seven hits and struck out seven batters.

An even better stat is the Braves have won 16-consecutive starts by Medlen, dating back to 2010.

When it comes to the one-game wild-card playoff, both teams playing are going to throw everything at each other. For the Braves, Medlen is that guy you want taking the mound to start. He is the kitchen sink for Atlanta.

In his five starts since coming out of the bullpen, Medlen has given up three earned runs in 32.1 innings. Throw in there five walks and 29 strikeouts, and you have a guy that makes you feel good when he's on the mound.

While others will likely argue for Tim Hudson to start that one game, Medlen is clearly the better pitcher right now.

Hudson has won six straight decisions, but has also given up four or more earned runs in two of his last three starts. He hasn't suffered a loss in that span, but there have still been some struggles.

Of course, that could all change by the time the regular season ends. Right now, Medlen has to be their choice to start the wild-card game. It can't be any more obvious considering his performance this season compared to the other starters on the team.

My hope is that the Nationals collapse at the end of the year, giving the Braves the division title. But I'm a realist and understand that Washington is currently the best team in baseball. So a six-game collapse is not likely, although it could happen.

Whatever happens, Medlen is the guy that the Braves can count on to hold down an opponent for the win. And, when it comes to any round of the playoffs, that's all you can ask out of your starter.

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