While the Braves five home runs Tuesday grabbed attention, another dominant starting pitching performance is the biggest reason the Braves are 12-1 with 10 straight wins. Kris Medlen made it one earned run or fewer allowed in 10 straight starts for the Braves top four starters (see table) – a mark that even Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery would have had trouble matching in the early 1990s. Here are the numbers four the four since (but not including) Opening Day:
Since Tim Hudson had a rough opening day start in which the Braves had to rally for a win, Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Hudson are on their third trip through the rotation with a combined ERA of 0.82.
Medlen gave up one run in seven innings Tuesday to get a no decision, to give him a 1.42 ERA in three starts this season. His start kept the Braves in the game until they cold explode for four home runs in the eighth inning to make it 10 straight wins.
The other three pitchers are 7-0 since Hudson’s opening day no decision.
Only 22-year-old Julio Teheran, the No. 5 pitcher in the rotation due to Brandon Beachy recovering from Tommy John surgery, has struggled during his two starters. However, if the top four are healthy come playoff time, they are the only four opponents will see as playoff rotations rarely include fifth starters.
Maddux, Glavine, Avery and Smoltz formed the 1-4 rotation from 1993 to 1996, including their World Series win against one of the greatest line-ups of all-time, the 1995 Cleveland Indians. Glavine and Maddux were still around in 2000 to key the Braves lonest winning streak ever at 16 games.
Like those four years, the Braves starters are simply giving the team a great chance to win every time on the mound.
The only offense Medlen received while on the mound were two solo homers by Juan Francisco, and even he gave one of those two runs back with a throwing error that allowed an unearned run by the Royals. The score was tied 2-2 because he only allowed one earned run. Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Dan Uggla hit solo home runs in the eighth inning to finally put the Braves ahead of the Royals 6-3.
Mike Minor will try to make it 11 straight – wins for the Braves and starts with zero or one earned run allowed by a Braves starter – shortly after noon on Wednesday.
For the full AP story of the game, click here.