Kris Medlen logged another great start tonight against the New York Mets, and led the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 win to even up the series 2-2. Although he had a pretty ugly fifth inning, he pitched well the entire game, and the offense actually hit with runners in scoring position (2-6) to back him up.
Medlen was cruising until he hit the fifth inning and the runs that came across the plate then weren’t even do to bad pitching. He made a mistake in the field that led to the Mets scoring there only three runs (only one was earned) of the game. After Marlon Byrd singled to start the inning, Kris Medlen pegged Lucas Duda to put two runners on base.
John Buck then came up and grounded right back to Medlen on the mound. Instead of turning and throwing to Simmons at second base and going for a routine 1-6-3 double play, Medlen looked to get the lead runner at third base. He ended up throwing the ball to the bag before Chris Johnson could get there, and both Byrd and Duda would score on the play. It was one of those typical #barves moments and it seemed like a good start was about to unfold. The Mets would tie the game up 3-3 after Kirk Nieuwenhuis dropped a dying quail in shallow right field to score Buck.
However, Medlen would calm down after that inning and continue to plow through the New York lineup, and the Braves would immediately take the lead back in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan Schafer (who has been playing extremely well lately) scored on a wild pitch and BJ Upton would come up big with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to continue his recent surge.
Medlen would end the game with seven innings and seven strikeouts to zero walks. He let up just six hits and one earned run. I mentioned this on twitter during the game but I’ll say it again here. I think it would be a big mistake to move Medlen out of the rotation for Brandon Beachy whenever he comes back. He has been the popular name to throw out but he has been extremely good the whole year and excellent of late. Between him, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran the Braves have an excellent trio to lead the starting rotation. Brandon Beachy returning healthy and joining them would just be gravy.
It was a good day for the Braves all around. BJ is looking good at the plate, Chris Johnson hit his first homerun since May 13 (and also his first off of a righty this year) and Freddie Freeman continues to be the most feared hitter in baseball to the Mets. Both Brian McCann and Justin Upton also just missed mammoth homeruns on the wrong side of both foul polls.
Craig Kimbrel has also looked incredible lately and made both David Wright and Marlon Byrd look sill on quick strikeouts. It’s basically a sure thing when Kimbrel comes in the game right now. He’s in form as the soccer fans would say.
The Braves will go for the series victory tomorrow at 7:10 with Mike Minor on the hill.