Since the Braves are 6 games behind the Nats and can't seem to take a series against them it looks like the Wild Card is the best option. Since there are two Wild Card teams this year to be decided by a one game playoff, you've got to wonder who the Braves best option would be. I think it's got to be Medlen.
The Braves have a six-man rotation right now, and out of those starters Tim Hudson by far has the most experience with 9 starts. He has a 1-3 record, 3.46 E.R.A. He has 3 starts with the Braves; a 0-1 record and 3.56 E.R.A. Tommy Hanson has one career playoff start (2010 vs. Giants) where he gave up 4 runs in 4 innnings. Outside those two, none of the other starters have any playoff experience...not even Ben Sheets.
Sheets looks like he may start fading. He's only 34 years old but has only pitched 163.1 innings over the last 4 seasons - endurance may be an issue. After a great first 3 starts where he went 3-0 with a 0.50 E.R.A he has faltered in 3 of his last 4 starts going 1-3 with a 4.85 E.R.A. At this point I think it's questionable as to whether or not he should be in a playoff rotation.
Tommy Hanson has had his best W-L year, but his worst E.R.A. year. He has lost 7-8 mph on his fastball and just isn't the intimidating presence he was before last summer. I don't think anyone would put his name on top of the list for starting a one-game playoff.
Mike Minor: he's had some good starts but he's still feeling his way around being a major league starter. He'd be last on my list to start a game of this magnitude.
Paul Moholm has been pitching great lately. He has been a solid edition to the Braves rotation. Despite his 2-2 record while with Atlanta he has a complete game shutout, 2.40 E.R.A. and at least 7.0 IP in all 4 of his starts. I would be comfortable will Moholm - and if the opposing team struggles against lefties then I might even prefer him.
Tim Hudson is obviously the guy most would say they'd want on the mound. And I wouldn't mind him either. The only thing is he hasn't been as consistently sharp as Moholm or Medlen. He has the experience and he's been a bona fide ace for a decade +, but I think I'd like to save him for a possible Game 1 of the Division Series.
Kris Medlen is my boy. He is a bulldog on the mound. Chipper even said Med has a presence like Greg Maddux. The guy just wins. The Braves have now won his last 16 starts dating back to 2010 - a Braves record! He has currently pitched 20.1 consecutive scoreless innings, which is the most by a Braves pitcher this year. In his 5 starts this year he has a 0.84 E.R.A. That's pretty good.
Medlen is on fire right now, so I don't want to be a prisoner of the moment. He may very well cool off in September and Hudson or Moholm will be the best choice. But right now Kris Medlen at least deserves to stay in the rotation when Gonzalez switches back to 5-man, and he's for sure got a spot in the playoff rotation (assuming we do make it). How can you argue with a guy who tweets stuff like this?
Not sure what this meant but it was on the plane... Don't poop standing up?? Haha twitter.com/KrisMedlen54/s…— Kris Medlen (@KrisMedlen54) August 23, 2012