Kris Medlen endured his second straight rough outing on Sunday by allowing six earned runs off eight hits in the Atlanta Braves’ 9-3 loss to the Washington Nationals. Medlen allowed nine runs off 14 hits in his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies. In total, that’s 15 runs and 22 hits in 10 innings of work that has skyrocketed his ERA to 7.23 for the spring.
The 7.23 ERA will not be indicative of the season in store for Medlen in 2013. He allowed just four runs in total in his four other starts for the spring. The little concern for Braves’ fans should be the opponents he’s struggled against in comparison with the teams he’s had success against. The Phillies and Nationals will likely be the division opponents to give the Braves the stiffest test, and they both found success against Medlen this spring. Conversely, three of the four teams Medlen had success against were the lowly Miami Marlins (twice) and Houston Astros.
The conditions today were not helping either. Extreme wind gusts combined with rain made it an ugly afternoon and shortened the game to seven innings. In fact, Medlen felt a couple balls would have been outs including a third inning Danny Espinosa home run.
It’s spring training. It’s no time to panic. But, Braves’ fans should be weary that Medlen may not be in his top form to start the season as this was likely his last start of the spring.
Other Notes: Dan Uggla and Juan Francisco each had RBI singles. Luis Avilan allowed a run in the sixth off a walk and two hits.
Strikeout Watch: The Braves struck out five times on Sunday. Their spring total is up to 221, which is third most in the MLB.
Third Base Competition: Francisco had the previously mention RBI single in a 1-for-3 day. Chris Johnson got a pinch-hit single in his only at-bat.
Upton Brothers: Justin Upton went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. B.J. Upton did not play.
Up Next: The Braves play the New York Mets on Monday with Mike Minor looking to bounce back from a couple down starts.