Kris Medlen a Big Part of Atlanta Braves' Late-Season Success

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IISeptember 12, 2012

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08:  Kris Medlen #54 of the Atlanta Braves delivers against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 8, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves are tied for the fourth best record in all of Major League Baseball.

Unfortunately for them, the Washington Nationals have the best record in baseball and are seven-and-a-half games ahead of the Braves in the National League East.

Still, their 81-62 record is impressive. It has also been worthy of locking up the top Wild Card berth.

Since July 1, they own a 40-26 record, putting up an incredibly hot month of July that saw them go 18-8. While cooling off slightly in August going just 15-14, they have been better in September with a 7-4 record thus far.

Thanks in large part are owed to 26-year-old Kris Medlen, who in the last 30 days has gone 5-0 in five starts with a 0.46 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP in 39.0 innings.

For those keeping tabs, that makes Medlen arguably the best pitcher in Major League Baseball over the last 30 days.

Additionally, he has struck out 37 batters while watching the opposition manage just a .187 batting average against him.

He's been more impressive than a Dominique Wilkins thunderous windmill slam.

His 5-0 record over the last 30 days started back on August 16, when he threw a complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres

The Braves would win 6-0 while Medlen allowed just five hits, struck out six without walking a single batter.

On August 22, the Braves squared off against their division rival Washington Nationals and Medlen answered the bell, going seven innings, walking one, striking out seven while allowing seven hits without allowing an earned run.

The Braves would go on to win, 5-1, in that game.

Rolling on, once again facing the San Diego Padres on August 28, Medlen went eight innings, striking out nine Padre batters while allowing five hits with no walks.

The Braves won, 6-1, this time around.

On September 3 he would face the Colorado Rockies and deliver another complete game. Medlen struck out 12 while allowing just five hits and one run, never walking a batter.

The Braves won, 7-1.

In his last start on September 8, Medlen faced the New York Mets. In his weakest of starts in a while, he lasted just six innings (yet still a quality start) allowing four hits, two runs (both earned), walking two batters while striking out just three.

The Braves would still prevail with a final score of 11-3.

If one were to look further back on his season, Medlen has been on this trend for several weeks.The Braves are 9-1 in his last 10 starts. Medlen is 7-0 in that stretch. 

The Braves are trying to make sure they don't suffer another collapse like last September.

Getting that type of production out of your fifth starter, well, that certainly will help the cause along.