September 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 2 vs. Nationals
The Braves won 2-1 on Friday behind Kris Medlen’s 13 strikeouts and 19 whiffs over seven innings.
As much as we’d all like four more Kris Medlens, we have to work with Tommy Hanson in tonight’s game. As I’ve said before, at this point, you live with what Hanson can give you that’s even the slightest positive, and he has done so in his past two outings. He has allowed two runs in 5.2 innings in each of the past two, combining on 13 strikeouts and three walks.
While Medlen gave up his lone run to a left-handed batter despite the reverse split (showing anything can happen in one PA), Hanson has a hard split that does not favor him against left-handed batters. Again, keeping Harper and Adam LaRoche low and away should be the plan. Hanson has solid numbers for his career when he keeps the slider low and away to LHB, but that hasn’t been as successful this season, likely due to a lack of bite on the pitch. It remains to be seen whether he will stick to what he knows there.
Edwin Jackson will start for the Nationals as the lone righty for Washington in the series. Jackson has a 3.85 ERA and 3.76 FIP over 168.1 innings, including a 21.3% strikeout rate and 7.4% walk rate. His numbers seem to be in line with how he should perform going forward, including a slight increase in home runs behind an 11.1% HR/FB.
Even so, Jackson has the highest swinging strike rate of his career so far at 12.2%, due in large part to a 50% whiff/swing rate on his slider. That includes a 51% mark against right-handed batters. On the other hand, he tones it down against left-handed batters and throws more changeups, recording a 24% whiff/swing rate on that pitch. And yet, he still maintains a 47% mark on the slider. So basically, Edwin Jackson’s slider is filthy, if you didn’t already know.
Kris Medlen’s Game Scores
In case you needed a reminder:
75, 57, 87, 81, 69, 83, 65, 58, 57.
In a 100-inning minimum, Medlen has the lowest FIP in baseball at 2.34. That includes the lowest HR/9 at 0.31 and lowest HR/FB at 4.5%.
His 3.4 fWAR in 117 innings is tied with Ryan Dempster at 154.1 innings, ahead of Kyle Lohse at 192 innings and ahead of Jordan Zimmermann at 176.2 innings, among others.
Braves.com recap for Friday’s win.
AJC quotes following Friday’s win. Kris Medlen: “My two-seamer felt great tonight. Ones to the lefties really came back for me. Even the couple of them I threw to righties kind of froze them. I don’t know, just one of those nights where everything kind of felt like it was working for me.”
Braves.com notes on the decision to rest Michael Bourn on Friday.
Andrew Gibson of Baseball Info Solutions gives the top defensive rookies of 2012 for ESPN Insider. He includes Andrelton Simmons, including this: “While Simmons’ primary defensive replacement, Paul Janish, played very well in his absence, it’s easy to wonder what kind of eye-popping numbers Simmons could have put up if he had stayed healthy this summer.”
Matt Snyder of the CBS Sports MLB blog includes the success of Braves pitchers in his latest Lineup.
Around the NL East
Roger Bernadina is fine after crashing into the wall to catch a ball last night.
And Ozzie Guillen did this.