Medlen riding high in wake of first career shutout

Medlen riding high in wake of first career shutout

Medlen riding high in wake of first career shutout
ATLANTA -- As calm, cool and composed as Chipper Jones appears, Kris Medlen is every bit as excitable and energetic. But after teaming with Jones to create a memorable Braves victory on Thursday night, Medlen shocked himself by quickly falling asleep.

"I totally crashed," he said. "It was a super adrenaline high and the coolest thing I've ever done in my career. I was like, 'I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.' Then I laid down and I just passed out. I woke up with a smile on my face and ready to work."

Medlen was still fueled by adrenaline as he prepared for batting practice before Friday night's game against the Dodgers. Less than 24 hours earlier, he had notched his first complete game and shutout against the Padres in a 6-0 victory. Adding to the significance of the event was the fact that Jones hit two home runs in front of a number of fans who had come to Turner Field to receive a Chipper Jones bobblehead doll.

"The fact that I actually got it done makes me want to do it again," Medlen said. "It makes me want to work and keep that feeling going. That was unbelievable."

Saturday will mark the two-year anniversary of the day Medlen underwent Tommy John surgery. The injury halted the success he had experienced while becoming a regular part of the Atlanta rotation in 2010. He spent this season's first four months in the bullpen.

But while posting a 1.05 ERA and limiting opponents to a .245 on-base percentage in the four starts he has made since moving to the rotation, he has created little reason to believe he will be returning to the bullpen.

The Braves have won each of the past 15 games that Medlen has started dating to May 29, 2010. This tied the franchise record set in 1996, when the Braves won 15 consecutive games started by John Smoltz.

But Medlen laughs at the comparison of these stretches. He has gone 8-0 with a 3.28 ERA and allowed opponents to his .248 against him during his streak. Smoltz went 14-0 with a 1.91 ERA and limited opponents to a .173 batting average.

"Like I said last night, I don't even have [14 wins] in my career," Medlen said. "That's not something I can even compare to."