When Kris Medlen toes the rubber Sunday afternoon against the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves will look to continue their 22-game winning streak in games started by Medlen. A 23rd straight win will be a new Major League record.
Medlen's only loss this season was in relief to contribute to his 9-1 record and 1.64 ERA. In his first full season after Tommy John surgery in 2010, the Braves took the opposite of the Stephen Strasburg approach by starting Medlen in the bullpen and working him into the rotation later, keeping him under 165 innings.
"It's already surreal," Medlen said. "But obviously, I don't plan on it ending [on Sunday], and hopefully keep it going."
The 26-year-old is already in elite company; the 22 consecutive starts won by his team has tied the record set by Carl Hubbell with the New York Giants from 1936-37 and Whitey Ford with the New York Yankees from 1950-53. Ford's streak was longer chronologically because he served in the Korean War.
To put things in additional perspective, both Hubbell and Ford are in the Hall of Fame.
Hubbell is most known for striking out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in succession in the 1934 All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds. In addition to winning the 1933 World Series, Hubbell was a two-time MVP and threw an 18-inning shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals on July 2, 1933.
While Ford's career was interrupted by his military service, he still appeared in 10 All-Star Games and play on six World Series champions. Ford is the only pitcher to start four consecutive Game Ones in the World Series, something he did twice. He also holds the World Series record for wins (10) and most consecutive scoreless innings pitched (33 2/3).
A win by the Braves on Sunday would make 23 consecutive games started by Medlen won by his club and set a new record, but they will have to go through a Mets team that has won seven of their last nine games.
The Mets will send Jenrry Mejia to the hill. Mejia won his first big league game in his last start.
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