Kris Medlen has been nothing short of magnificent when he has taken the mound for the Braves this season. In fact, when he starts a game, the Braves simply don’t lose. With his victory over the Mets on Sunday, they have now won each of the last 23 games that Medlen has started, dating back to May 29, 2010.
In doing so, they broke the major league record of 22 straight, shared by Whitey Ford with the Yankees and Carl Hubbell with the Giants. The next time that he takes the ball, will come in a must-win game in the Wild Card game, and there isn’t a pitcher in baseball that would be a better choice for that start.
Since re-joining the rotation on July 31, Medlen has been absolutely dominant in his 12 starts. He’s compiled a 9-0 record, 0.97 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 84/10 K/BB ratio over 83 2/3 innings. Astoundingly, even though he’s only been in the rotation for half the season, the 26-year-old right-hander should garner at least a few votes for the NL Cy Young award.
Orioles clinch postseason berth
The Orioles completed a sweep of the Red Sox with a 6-3 victory early in the afternoon on Sunday, and with the Angels dropping the nightcap of their doubleheader, the Orioles are officially heading back to the postseason for the first time since 1997.
They’re now assured of locking up one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League, but it’s certainly not time to celebrate yet. They remain in a first place tie with the Yankees in the AL East heading into the final three days of the season.
In closing out Sunday’s victory, Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson recorded his 50th save of the season. The first-year closer joins elite company, becoming just the 10th pitcher in MLB history to accomplish that feat.
Price notches 20th victory
David Price delivered a strong performance in Sunday’s win over the White Sox, surrendering two runs on five hits over his seven innings of work. With the victory, Price became the second pitcher in the American League to reach the 20-win plateau, joining Jered Weaver.
With the victory, Price may have put himself in the driver’s seat for the AL Cy Young award. The impressive 27-year-old left-hander has compiled a 20-5 record, 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio over his 211 innings.
It also kept the Rays’ very dim playoff hopes alive. They trail the Athletics by three games with just three remaining, so any win by the A’s or loss by the Rays will end their season. Whether or not they make the playoffs though, Price has solidified himself as one of the truly elite hurlers in the league.
National League Quick Hits: Brandon Phillips left Sunday’s game with leg tightness after slipping while rounding second base. He’s considered day-to-day, but will likely rest for a day or two in order to be fully healthy for the postseason… David Freese returned to the Cardinals lineup on Sunday, going 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and two runs scored…Michael Bourn returned from his thumb injury to go 2-for-3 with a double, walk and his 40th steal… Jordan Lyles recorded his first career shutout, blanking the Brewers on four hits and a walk, while striking out three. He also hit his first homer in the game… Lance Lynn earned his 18th victory in a win over the Nationals… Carlos Beltran belted a pair of homers and drove home five as the Cardinals thrashed the Nationals… Cole Hamels notched his 17th win by tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Marlins… Edinson Volquez was forced to leave his final start of the season with an undisclosed injury… Everth Cabrera swiped four bases on Sunday, bringing his season total up to 41… Huston Street picked up a blown save, allowing a pair of homers in a loss to the Giants… Matt Kemp blasted another homer, and is hitting .550 (11-for-20) with four homers and three doubles in his last five games… Aroldis Chapman struck out two en route to his 37th save… Garrett Jones smacked his 26th homer in a losing effort… Bryce Harper continues to impress, smashing his 22nd homer of the season in a losing effort against the Cardinals… Chase Headley continued his power surge, connecting on his 31st homer of the season… Hunter Pence blasted his 24th home run in a victory over the Padres, and he’s now driven in a career-high 104 runs.
American League Quick Hits: Mike Adams has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and is expected to be sidelined for 7-10 days. He hopes to return this season, delaying surgery until the offseason… Jayson Nix could be left off the Yankees postseason roster, as he’ll miss the next 10-14 days with a left hip flexor… Mark Teixeira has been cleared to rejoin the Yankees on Monday… Max Scherzer said that he expects to make his next scheduled start, which could come on Wednesday against the Royals… Mike Moustakas left Sunday’s contest with tightness in his left groin, but expects to play on Monday… An MRI on Ricky Romero’s knee revealed no structural damage… Edwin Encarnacion left Sunday’s game with tightness in his left upper trapezius muscle, and is considered day-to-day… Steve Johnson will undergo an MRI on his left knee on Monday, and his availability for the postseason could be in question… Asdrubal Cabrera blasted a grand slam in a victory over the Royals… Torii Hunter smashed a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning, leading the Angels to victory in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader… Prince Fielder launched a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, leading the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Twins… Franklin Gutierrez left Sunday’s game with a left groin injury, and his availability for the remainder of the season is in jeopardy… Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, including a go-ahead homer in the eighth as the A’s topped the Mariners… Erick Aybar left Sunday’s game with a strained right quad… Adrian Beltre left Sunday’s game with a strained left shoulder and is considered day-to-day… Despite allowing seven runs in the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader, Derek Holland earned a victory over the Angels… Mike Napoli homered twice and plated a career-high six runs in a Rangers victory… B.J. Upton launched a pair of homers and drove home three in a victory over the White Sox.