First major league save? Not that big a deal to Braves reliever Kris Medlen, who earned the honors with three innings to finish off Friday’s 6-1 win over the Pirates, which allowed Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel the night off.
Medlen was presented with the lineup card, which is sitting in the back of his locker, and the ball, which he tossed to a kid in the stands as he left the game.
“It’ll probably mean more to him than me,” Medlen said. “If I was a closer, I think it’d be a big deal. Obviously I’m happy about it, but I expect to do stuff like that when I’m put in situations.”
Now his base hit? That’s another matter altogether for the ever versatile pitcher and former switch-hitting college shortstop. Medlen collected the sixth hit of his major league career Friday after he got to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. He joked Saturday he’d be lobbying to pinch hit again, and manager Fredi Gonzalez might actually take him up on it.
Already short-handed on the bench with David Ross catching and trying to protect Matt Diaz as the emergency catcher, Gonzalez said he could see pinch-hitting Medlen in the sixth inning.
On Friday night, though, Gonzalez was rolling his eyes as he watched Medlen rub up his bat with pine tar in the on-deck circle.
“I said ‘Would you go on, get out there and get ready to hit,’” Gonzalez said. “’You better be able to hit after doing all that crap you’re doing.’ Sure enough he goes (whack) – base hit.”
Gonzalez said when Medlen got to first base, he looked into the dugout and tipped his cap at his manager.