Medlen is on about as good a run as any Atlanta Braves pitcher ever, maybe any pitcher ever. After some (admittedly limited) research, I found a similar stretch composed by the master himself in 1994, and another super-human streak by Bob Gibson. That was perhaps Maddux’s best year. He was 16-6 — hard to figure how he lost six games, as he allowed more than 3 earned runs once in 25 starts — with a 1.56 ERA.
He posted a sub-2 ERA the next season, too.
Anyway, in 8 starts during July and August of 1994, Doggie pitched five complete games, with a .93 ERA, and allowed a .182 batting average. His record in that period was 6-2.
Medlen’s run this season has been even better than that by some measures. As commenters mentioned, he’s 8-0 in 10 starts, with a .76 ERA, a .195 opponents batting average, and a .821 WHIP. He has completed “only” two games, but could easily have gone nine last night. Fredi, wisely I think, is careful to keep him fresh. Plus, Medlen was on a pitch count in his first couple starts as he was coming from the bullpen.
Maddux, of course, did his finest work at the height of the steroid era. I don’t think either of these guys has been tainted, but as a sign of the times, in 1994 Matt Williams — nice player but he never hit 40 HR in another season — and Frank Thomas — likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer — were both threatening Roger Maris’ season home run record when the strike hit.
What Medlen is doing is nearly as impressive as what Gibson did. Of course, Gibson essentially pitched that way for an entire season. Then again, the overall MLB ERAs in these three seasons add perspective:
1968: 2.98; so Gibby’s run was 2.48 under that
1994: 4.48, Mad Dog’s run was 3.55 under
2012: 3.99, MedDog’s run is 3.23 under.
Keep it up, MedDog.