NEW YORK -- Kris Medlen provided a glimpse of his value as a reliever while completing two scoreless innings in Thursday afternoon's 1-0 Opening Day loss to the Mets at Citi Field. The versatile Braves reliever escaped the sixth-inning jam he inherited unscathed and then worked a scoreless seventh inning.
"I'm just trying to help the team win with whatever I can do," Medlen said. "I ate up a couple of innings today, and it didn't work out for us score-wise. But everything felt good."
While the Braves understand Medlen could prove valuable as a starting pitcher, the belief remains that his presence as a reliever will allow him to provide a greater value to this team. He has the ability to occasionally be used in setup roles to spell Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty.
Medlen will also often be used like he was on Thursday, when he entered after David Wright chased Tommy Hanson with an RBI single in the sixth inning. With two runners on and no outs, the fearless right-hander prevented any further damage by retiring the first three batters he faced. The 26-year-old right-hander exited after a scoreless seventh inning.
"It's definitely a comforting feeling having him come in behind you because of just what he did," Hanson said. "He does that every time it feels like. Obviously, I didn't want to come out of the game, but when I saw him coming in, it was OK."