Kris Medlen got where he is today by being a strike-throwing machine. But as he pointed out Friday, there’s a difference between merely throwing strikes and throwing the kind of well-located pitches that are his staples.
He threw 36 strikes in 49 pitches and was charged with three runs and five hits during the Braves’ 7-1 split-squad loss against the Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League game at Champion Stadium.
The other split-squad Braves pounded out 17 hits in a 14-9 win against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., including home runs by Evan Gattis (3-for-4, four RBIs) and Freddie Freeman.
Medlen said his third spring start served as a reminder that location and mixing pitches are essential to his success.
“Forty-nine pitches in four innings — efficient,” he said. “But I ran into the same problem last year: I was ahead (in counts), but wasn’t putting guys away. I’m throwing strikes, but they’re too good of strikes. I didn’t go out of the zone enough. And when I did need that one strikeout pitch, I just didn’t execute it.