Kris Medlen gets a chance to make a little history Sunday. If the Braves beat the Mets and win his 23rd consecutive start, he will break a three-way tie he now shares with Carl Hubbell and Whitey Ford.
Medlen matched the feat reached by both Hubbell (1936-37) and Ford (1950, 1953 with two years of military service in between) when the Braves rallied to win his 22nd consecutive start Tuesday night and clinch a postseason berth in a 3-2 win over Miami.
“It’s awesome,” Medlen said of the streak. “It’s crazy, but any time you can get anywhere near some kind of record, it’s awesome. It’s what you strive for, especially with the couple of names up there too that I’m with. It’s already surreal, but obviously I don’t plan on it ending (Sunday). Hopefully keep it going.”
One of the keys to Medlen’s success in the rotation has been the development of his curveball. He’d been primarily a fastball/change-up pitcher but is now comfortable commanding his third pitch for strikes.
“I’m not fastball-change-up anymore,” Medlen said. “I almost feel like I’m about even with the curveball and change-up. It’s a different offer, and it’s all good.”
Medlen said it’s a pitch he was determined to throw more often even before he had his elbow reconstruction surgery, and being a starter has helped.
“As a starter you get the repetitions in to be able to get more consistent with everything,” he said.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said there’s a “good chance” Michael Bourn could return to the Braves lineup Sunday against the Mets. But the Braves are not going to rush him back from the sprained thumb which has kept him out of action since Saturday in Philadelphia.
“The big thing is we don’t want to get a setback,” Gonzalez said. “We’re running out of games and we don’t want to get a setback right now.”…
Gonzalez has indicated he plans to carry three starters, seven relievers and 15 position players on the roster for a potential wild card playoff game Friday. He said Wednesday Kris Medlen and Tim Hudson would be the first two starters the Braves carry and either Paul Maholm or Mike Minor would be the third.