Things could be much worse - at least three outs (Brown, Utley, Howard) were screaming line drives right at people. Medlen cannot command his fastball right now, which, given his repertoire, is obviously essential to his success. He's mostly missing way high with it (think Matt Moore last year), and his curve isn't fooling anyone; Kratz almost belted one out that was left up in the zone. Before others take this opportunity to scream, "REGRESSION," Medlen, even though he'll never repeat last year's success, has always been known for being able to command the strike zone. This is very unlike him, but his velocity is fine - I think it's partially due to weather conditions: 89% humidity will obviously detract from his control (he's already sweating profusely). However, be that as it may, this is concerning. Hopefully he buckles down, but it's an ominous start.
A better inning on paper, but it shouldn't leave anyone at ease. The wind blowing in at 16 MPH kept Nix from yanking a 2-run bomb; Heyward leaned up against the wall when he made the catch. Although Medlen stayed around the zone more, he didn't hit a single one of his spots. His curveball looked better and the two-seamer has a lot of life, but he has little to no command. Twice, he whirled around in frustration as soon as the ball left his hand because he knew it wasn't where he wanted it to be.
He's already at 61 pitches so, barring an epic return to form, it's going to be an early, WHIP-murdering night.
On the other hand, not much to say about Lee - excellent, as usual.
Some poetic humor for ya: after three innings of Lady Luck smothering Philly bats' lasers, she gives Rollins his second fluky hit, resulting in a very prolonged battle with Utley; J. Upton then fails to run down a mile-high fly from Howard, resulting in the waste of more pitches.
Medlen looked better this inning, but that's not saying much. He was relying heavily on his curve (threw 4 in a row to Utley, who fouled off each one while sitting dead red; he walked after laying off a 2-seamer three feet outside the zone) and still had no command on any other pitch. Fortunately, Howard hit into the shift to end the inning, but he put solid wood on the ball.
I never saw Medlen pitch last season but drafted him when he slipped to #90. Aside from his obvious lack of command tonight, color me unimpressed. What was the key to his success last season?
Bravefans155 hit the nail on the head: it's amazing what a well-located fastball can do.
The catcher is terrible. Ump is squeezing him. Atl defense is playing bad.Upton missed a fly ball on the run. Uggla couldn't turn the double play. Catcher lobbed a ball back to the pitcher and Rollins took third. Medlen is definitely off but he's not getting any help either.
Ryan Howard's 300 homeruns are 5th among active NL players. Who is first?
Giambi or Soriano.
Medlen with a 1-2-3 9-pitch inning - which he SORELY needed. He actually spotted his 4-seamer very well, striking out Young (swinging) and Nix (looking). Let's hope this is a momentum shift resulting in the Braves keeping the winning streak intact (and by that, as a Mets fan, I mean I hope they get Medlen off the hook before losing).
Medlen out after 5 innings and 92 pitches. I'm surprised, but it's probably the wisest course of action. He just didn't have it tonight, so let him go out on a high note instead of going the whole nine yards in his first start.