Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of September. This is the third career monthly award for Medlen, who was voted Pitcher of the Month in back-to-back months in August and September 2012.
Medlen posted a 4-0 record in five September starts, tying for the N.L. lead in wins while compiling a league-best 1.00 ERA (four earned runs in 36.0 innings pitched). Medlen was tied with Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke for fourth among N.L. pitchers with a 0.92 WHIP during the month, while his .197 opponents' batting average ranked sixth. Medlen fanned 33 in his 36.0 innings of work while walking only eight as he helped lead the Braves to their first N.L. East crown since 2005. On Friday, the Artesia, California native tossed a season-high 8.0 innings of shutout ball, out-dueling Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee to earn his 15th win of the season as the Braves defeated the Phillies, 1-0, at Turner Field. Medlen held the Phils to just two hits on the day while collecting seven strikeouts and walking just two in his last regular season start. The 15 wins marked a career high for the right-hander, who also set career highs in starts (31), innings pitched (197.0) and strikeouts (157) this season.
It was the seventh consecutive quality start for the 27-year-old dating back to August 23rd. In that span, Medlen posted a 5-2 record with a 1.29 ERA (seven earned runs in 49.0 innings pitched). On September 21st, Medlen did not earn a decision despite holding the Chicago Cubs to one run through 7.1 innings of work in an eventual 3-1 loss at Wrigley Field. He recorded a win in his September 14th outing against the visiting San Diego Padres after blanking the Padres over 7.1 innings while fanning five. Medlen began the month with 7.0 innings of one-run ball and a season-best nine strikeouts on September 3rd in a 3-1 win over the New York Mets in Atlanta.
Other pitchers receiving votes included Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (4-0, 1.69 ERA, 39 SO, 32.0 IP); Philadelphia's Lee (3-2, 1.85 ERA, 54 SO, 1 BB, 39.0 IP); Greinke (2-1, 1.75 ERA, 36 SO, 36.0 IP) of the Dodgers; LaTroy Hawkins (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SV, 11 SO, 12.0 IP) of the Mets; San Diego's Huston Street (1-0, 0.75 ERA, 8 SV, 13 SO, 12.0 IP); and Adam Wainwright (4-1, 2.85 ERA, 35 SO, 41.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The National League Pitcher of the Month for September 2013, Kris Medlen, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.