Three days before the NLDS opens in Atlanta a Game 1 starter picked up an award on Monday, but it wasn't Clayton Kershaw. Braves starter Kris Medlen, in line to start Thursday against the Dodgers, won the National League Pitcher of the Month Award for September.
Medlen was 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in five starts during the month, with 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 36 innings in the season's final month. Medlen has three monthly awards in his career, one more than Kershaw, who won the honor in July. Zack Greinke, slated to start Game 2, won the award in August.
Finishing a season strong is no stranger to Medlen, who won the NL Pitcher of the Month in both August and September 2012, when he was 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA in his final 12 starts. But that didn't carry over into the wild card game last year, when he allowed five runs (though just two earned) in 6⅓ innings in a loss to the Cardinals.
Here are some other Braves-related links for a Monday:
Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness took a good, long detailed look at the Braves.
Jason Heyward is a major key to the Braves' chances, writes Mark Bowman at MLB.com in his series breakdown.
If you thought the Diamondbacks had an inferiority complex about the Dodgers, the Braves will run second to nobody. Read this piece from David O'Brien in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. An example:
Pundits nationwide will spend the next few days talking about how the media-darling Dodgers will be favored against the Braves, waxing on how Atlanta won a mediocre division and doesn’t have the pitching to match the Dodgers or an offense that’s either consistent or fundamentally sound.
Medlen, a Gahr High School alum from Los Angeles, weighed just 93 pounds as a freshman, writes Bowman.