Sunday’s pitching preview: Mejia vs. Medlen

Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 4.91 ERA) will start for the Mets this afternoon.

Mejia was better in his last start against the Pirates when he allowed four hits and two walks in five innings for his first big league win. Mejia’s command has been an issue for him since being recalled from the Minor Leagues – he’s walked seven batters in 11 innings both as a starter and reliever. Mejia allowed a run in two innings of relief against the Braves earlier this month – he has a 4.50 ERA in two relief appearances in his career against Atlanta.

Kris Medlen (9-1, 1.64 ERA) will start for the Braves this afternoon.

Medlen has been unbelievable this season for Atlanta and the Braves have a historical streak going when Medlen starts – they have won 22 consecutive games in which Medlen has started (2010-2012), tied with Carl Hubbell of the Giants (1936-37) and Whitey Ford of the Yankees (1950-53) for the most in Major League history. Medlen has taken two no-decisions in his last three starts, but has gone at least six innings in each of his last nine starts, posting a 0.93 ERA over that span. Medlen allowed two runs in six innings against the Mets at Citi Field earlier this month – he’s 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 14 appearances and four starts against New York in his career.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Mejia showed progress in his last start, but he still has a lot of work to do no matter what role he ends up in. There’s nothing wrong with that – he’s a young pitcher and is really still working his way back from Tommy John Surgery in May, 2011. His development has been set back by that injury but also with the roles he has been placed in since he came on the Mets radar in 2010. He needs a consistent and steady path so he can develop both physically and mentally. For now, he is most comfortable as a starter – if he can refine his secondary pitches and pitch with better command and tempo, he has the potential to be an exciting and electric Major League pitcher.