There has been much discussion of who should start the Wild Card play-in game for the Atlanta Braves, from John Smoltz suggesting the team's third best starter should start, to FanGraphs' Dave Cameron suggesting Craig Kimbrel should start and the Braves should play bullpen match-ups for most of the game.
Fredi Gonzalez won't take the unconventional approach, and will instead shift the team's rotation so that Kris Medlen will start the winner-take-all Wild Card game on Friday, October 5th. While the other options were interesting discussion topics, it's hard to argue against starting the hottest pitcher in baseball in a game you must win. Kudos to Fredi and the Braves for not over-thinking this decision and just going with their best pitcher.
The Braves make the change in their rotation by swapping Medlen and Paul Maholm in the rotation. Maholm was slated to pitch on Tuesday, and Medlen Wednesday, but with an off-day Monday, the team will go with Medlen on regular rest on Tuesday, pushing Maholm back to Wednesday, followed by Hanson, Hudson, and Minor. This puts Medlen on schedule to pitch the Wild Card game on regular rest.
Tim Hudson would start game one of the division series should the Braves win the Wild Card game, and this rotation would likely line up so that Mike Minor would follow him. That would put the Braves top-three starters in the second half in position to start the first three games of the postseason. With off-days after the Wild Card game (should the Braves win and advance), and after game two, the Braves could bring Kris Medlen back on four-days rest to pitch game-3 of the NLDS, though game-4 would likely need to be started by either Hanson or Maholm.
Pleasant thoughts about the post-season, now let's go out there and beat the Phils and clinch this thing.