While watching the game last night, I saw the top them talk about the best ERAs by a pitcher in his first 10 starts of the season. #1 was Juan Marchial, who gave up only 6 earned runs (8 runs total) in 92 innings to start the 1966 season, for an ERA of 0.59. After last night, Kris Medlen took over the #2 spot, now having allowed 6 earned runs (7 total) in 70 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 0.76. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for Medlen to qualify for the ERA title (he's thrown 125 innings this season). The Braves have only 12 games remaining, meaning Medlen will likely get 2 starts. He would need 3 9-inning complete games and 1 10-inning CG to reach 162 innings. As such, there is no chance of him being a contender for the Cy Young, while if he qualified it is possible he would have been a candidate.
As I'm sure everyone is aware, last night was the 21st consecutive start the Braves won for Medlen, tying him for 3rd place behind two pitchers (the last being Whitey Ford in the 1950s). Additionally, Medlen has now won his last 8 decisions and of his last 14 decisions in starts, all have been wins (dating back to 2009). The Braves were 13-1 in Medlen's starts in 2010, and that one loss was not charged to Medlen, meaning he has not been charged with a loss in a start since 2009, in the second game of his career. Those first two games of his career are the only starts in which he took the loss, and for his career, the Braves are 24-4 when he starts. Medlen's record in his starts is 14-2.
Quality Starts & Consistency
Medlen has tossed 8 consecutive quality starts. His first 2 starts did not qualify as quality starts despite allowing 1 run in each, because he only pitched 5 and 5 1/3 innings, respectively. (Medlen actually only tossed 6/14 QS in 2010, and only 1/4 in 2009). But in his starts this year, he has been extremely consistent. He has yet to walk more than 2 batters in a start (he's only walked 9 total as a starter for a 1.15 BB/9 rate), has not given up more than 2 runs in a start (once: his RA totals have been 1,1,1,0,0,0,1,2,1,0), has not allowed more than an average of 1 hit/inning in any of his starts, and has had a WHIP under 1.00 in 8 of 10 starts (the outliers 5 hits, 2 BB in 5 1/3; 7 hits, 1 BB in 7). His control has been great, with a 70% strike rate, and he has ran up a 9.2 K/9IP rate.
According to baseball-reference, Medlen has the 5th-best pitching WAR total in the NL (4.2). And if you look towards the bottom of that page, you see 6 stats a Braves pitcher leads in (5 of them Medlen): Adjusted Pitching Runs, Adjusted Pitching Wins, Base-Out Runs Saved, Wins Probability Added (Kimbrel leads at 4.0, Medlen is second at 3.5), Situational Wins Saved, and Base-Out Wins Saved. The stats love Medlen this year.
All in all, it's been an impressive run for Medlen and here's hoping he continues this dominance.