Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of August. It marks his first career monthly award and the Braves have now had at least one Pitcher of the Month award in four consecutive seasons (also Jair Jurrjens in September 2009; Tim Hudson in August 2010; Derek Lowe in September 2010; and Jurrjens in May 2011).
In five August starts, Medlen posted a 4-0 record and a Major League-best 0.50 ERA (two earned runs in 35.2 innings pitched). The 26-year-old fanned 35 while walking just four in his 35.2 innings of work and held opposing hitters to a .213 batting average. Medlen did not allow a single run in three of his four decisions this month and recorded 28.1 consecutive scoreless innings
from August 11th-28th, the longest such streak by a Braves pitcher this season and the longest in Club history since Greg Maddux tossed 39.1 straight shutout innings from September 2-28, 2000. On August 28th, the California native earned his sixth win of the season by blanking the Padres over 8.0 innings of work with nine strikeouts en route to a 2-0 victory at PETCO Park. The win marked the 17th consecutive Braves victory in a game started by Medlen, which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the longest such streak in any pitcher’s starts in the team’s 137-season history. On August 22nd, the 10th round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft bested the N.L. East-leading Washington Nationals, 5-1, at Nationals Park with a 7.0-inning, seven-strikeout performance. Medlen faced just seven batters over the minimum in the outing and retired 14 of the first 18 Nats hitters he faced, helping his club snap a four-game losing streak. The right-hander notched his first career complete-game shutout on August 16th, scattering five hits and fanning six while not issuing a walk in a 6-0 victory over the visiting San Diego Padres. Medlen, who has made 38 relief appearances this season, earned his second win in just his third start of the 2012 campaign on August 11th, allowing one run over 6.1 innings of work in a 9-3 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field. In his seven starts this year, Medlen is 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA (three earned runs in 49.2 innings pitched) with just five walks and 50 strikeouts. His 45 combined appearances and 86 strikeouts this season are both career highs.
Other pitchers receiving votes included Milwaukee Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (5-0, 2.02 ERA, 39 SO, 35.2 IP); Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (1-0, 0.68 ERA, 11 SV, 18 SO, 13.1 IP); Philadelphia Phillies starter Cole Hamels (3-1, 1.86 ERA, 6 BB, 34 SO, 38.2 IP); San Diego Padres starter Clayton Richard (5-1, 2.42 ERA, 15 SO, 44.2 IP); St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright
(5-1, 2.75 ERA, 36 SO, 8 BB, 39.1 IP); and Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 SV, 15 SO, 12.2 IP).
The National League Pitcher of the Month for August 2012, Kris Medlen, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.