September 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 1 vs. Marlins
The Braves begin their final homestand of the regular season, and they’re doing so in the best way possible: a Kris Medlen start.
Medlen pitched eight shutout innings on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in his last start, an outing in Miami. Medlen’s first start this season was against the Marlins, giving up one run in five innings on July 31.
Nathan Eovaldi’s most recent outing was also against the Braves, throwing eight shutout innings with five strikeouts. As some noted during and after that game, Eovaldi is no scab that some made him out to be in their frustrations. He’s a top 100 prospect who has flashed strong strikeout stuff in the minor leagues and is only 22 years old. He may have had his struggles this year, but what he did against the Braves last time out won’t be a rare occurrence down the road.
The Braves can clinch a playoff berth with a win today or losses by both the Brewers and Dodgers.
Mark Bowman writes on the comparisons between Medlen and Greg Maddux. While both have pinpoint control with similar arsenals, Maddux’s two-seamer and the horizontal movement it received was in a league of its own. The movement on Medlen’s pitches isn’t Maddux-like, and that’s not taking anything away from Medlen at all.
Bowman’s notes include blurbs on Mike Minor’s turnaround in the second half and Freddie Freeman’s struggles at the plate. Also, Michael Bourn is hoping to return today after allowing his thumb to rest an extra day on Monday.
Buster Olney lists one player for each playoff contender that’s important to their chances (ESPN Insider). For the Braves, he lists Bourn.
Baseball America released its Gulf Coast League Top 20 List with two Braves making the grade. Jose Peraza sits at No. 10 and Luis Merejo is No. 13. Follow the link for full scouting reports if you’re a BA member, but the list itself is free. In case you missed it yesterday, Baseball Prospectus had positive things to say about Merejo, calling him “a truly exciting prospect” (sub. required).