09/29/12 8:06 PM ET
Murphy organizes reunion for 1982 Braves team
By Mark Bowman and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
Looking to rekindle memories from that season, Dale Murphy organized the 1982 Baby Blue Fest in Atlanta this weekend. The event allowed 30 fans from 14 different states to spend Saturday with some of their favorite personalities from that team -- Murphy, Phil Niekro, Bob Horner, Gene Garber, Bruce Benedict and Pete Van Wieren.
"The older you get, the more you like to reminisce," Murphy said. "We've had a good time. We weren't as good as these teams now, but we had our moment in the sun."
Before coming to Saturday night's game at Turner Field, the group gathered at a downtown Atlanta hotel for lunch and a chance to watch the TBS documentary "It's a Long Way to October," which detailed the 1982 team's run to the playoffs.
The team gained immediate national notice when it won its first 13 games of the season. The Braves were swept by the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series.
"We were kind of known for our first two weeks and our last week," Murphy said.
Medlen set to start with history on the line
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Kris Medlen will take the mound Sunday afternoon against the Mets with history on the line. The Braves will be going for their 23rd consecutive win in a game started by Medlen, which would set a Major League record. Medlen and the Braves are currently tied with the Yankees and Whitey Ford and the Giants and Carl Hubbell.
Medlen knows there has been an element of luck in the streak, but he is hoping to be able to extend it Sunday.
"It's already surreal," Medlen said. "But obviously, I don't plan on it ending tomorrow, and hopefully keep it going."
Medlen's streak began in 2010, but he had Tommy John surgery in August of that year, then a year-long recovery process. He had a four-month stint in the bullpen to start the 2012 season, during which he took a loss pitching in relief. He entered the Braves' rotation on July 31 this season and has made 11 starts.
During the streak, Medlen is 13-0 with a 2.48 ERA as a starter. He has struck out 131 batters and walked 21 in 145 1/3 innings. Medlen has the highest ERA of the three pitchers tied for the record, but he also has the most strikeouts and the second-best WHIP.
Medlen said he isn't that familiar with Hubbell, the Hall of Fame right-hander who pitched for the Giants from 1928-1943. He knows more about Ford, the left-handed Hall of Famer who pitched from 1950-1967 for the Yankees.
Medlen said he can't believe he now shares the record with them.
"[It's] crazy," he said. "I don't belong with them."
Split between the bullpen and the rotation, Medlen is 9-1 with a 1.64 ERA this season. He has struck out 116 batters and walked just 22 in 132 innings. That kind of year, in his first season since returning from surgery, has placed Medlen among contenders for the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Medlen, however, downplayed his chances to take home the award. He said contending with players with more name recognition such as Giants catcher Buster Posey and Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg make it difficult to think about winning the vote.
"It's obviously a cool award," Medlen said. "For me, it's not necessarily not realistic, but it's not something I would expect given the names."
Bourn remains sidelined with sprained left thumb
ATLANTA -- Braves center fielder Michael Bourn was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game Saturday because of a sprained left thumb. Bourn sustained the injury on Sept. 22 in Philadelphia and has been considered day to day for the last week.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves were playing it safe with their All-Star because they want to do all they can to avoid even a minor setback this late in the season.
"The big thing is we don't want a setback," Gonzalez said. "That's the biggest scare. We're running out of games and we don't want to get a setback."
Gonzalez said there was a "good chance" Bourn would return to action for Sunday's series finale against the Mets.