Kris Medlen had a very rough start to his 2013 campaign with the Atlanta Braves. So rough, in fact, that after the all-star break many assumed he would be relegated to the bullpen as the Braves prepared to make a playoff run. Now, he's game 1 starter in the NLDS, matching up with the likes of Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The former shortstop-turned relief pitcher-turned starting pitcher (you read that correctly) used to dream of playing shortstop for the Dodgers. Instead, he now finds himself going toe-to-toe with arguably the best pitcher in the game, as the Braves take on the Dodgers in a 5 game National League Divisional Series.
After starting off the season rough, Medlen ended 2013 with a 15-12 record and 3.11 ERA, while pitching his first full season as a starting pitcher. Though his season has had it's up-and-downs, much like Medlen's 2012 return, the second half of the season was where Medlen showed best.
Medlen dominated through August and September, posting an 8-2 record, with a 2.00 ERA – much like the Medlen that posted a 1.57 ERA after the all-star break in 2012.
When asked about his turn around, Medlen was frank – overthinking had caused his problems. He felt that he worried too much about mechanics, pitch location, to the point where his pitching was very seriously affected. Once he settled down, and worried more about enjoying baseball and relying on his instincts, the results were undeniable.
As the Braves send him to the mound in Game 1 of the NLDS, Braves Nation could not be more confident in the performance Medlen is expected to turn out.
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