The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 5, 2012

Braves hope Medlen can extend streak in wild card

(Continued)

ATLANTA —

"It's not like football where we post it and I want to rip his head off," said Braves catcher David Ross, noting that Wainwright won't even be on the 25-man roster for this game. "But it is one of those things, you wonder why guys comment about other teams. I feel like, as a player, I wouldn't make a comment about another team in a negative light to a media outlet. I just feel like I'm better than that."

No one has been better than Medlen over the past two months.

Forced into the rotation by injuries and ineffective performances, he suddenly became baseball's hottest pitcher. He hardly looks the part, generously listed at 5-foot-10 with a fastball that struggles to reach 90 mph. But he is especially bedeviling with his changeup, a pitch the organization ordered him to throw coming up through the minors.

In 12 starts this season, Medlen is 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA. He struck out 13 hitters in one game, 12 in another. In six of those appearances, he didn't give up an earned run.

Away from the field, it's hard to take Medlen seriously. He is a bundle of nervous energy, which he copes with by delivering a constant string of jokes and one-liners. As manager Fredi Gonzalez finished up his time at the podium Thursday, Medlen stood against the wall, clapping slowly.

When asked about his pregame routine, Medlen made it clear he doesn't have one.

Except for the peanut butter and honey.

"It's a light meal. It's good energy," he said. "It's not like I'm going to eat fried chicken."

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