Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/5/12

Atlanta Braves right-hander Kris Medlen has been named the National League Pitcher of the Month for August, his first monthly award. Medlen pitched his second career complete game Monday afternoon versus the Rockies; his first one was on August 16 versus the Padres.

As long as he's been in the Braves organization, Medlen has been second fiddle to his one-time apartment-mate, right-hander Tommy Hanson, who gave up two solo home runs and left the game with the bases loaded after 5 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 6-0 loss to the Rockies.

Medlen is being compared to Greg Maddux, and not only because his 28 1/3 scoreless-innings streak from August 11-28 is the second longest in Braves history after Maddux's 39 1/3-inning scoreless streak from September 2-28, 2000.

Medlen works fast, as Maddux did, so he gets good defense behind him since the fielders are more alert. But he's not taking the Maddux comparisons seriously, joking that Maddux has "700 more wins than me."

"I've had one good month," Medlen said, and while he's laughing, he means it.

He has two principal reasons for his success:

One is that he has four pitches that he can throw for strikes in any count. His velocity is a mile or two an hour lower than it was before his 2010 Tommy John surgery, but he's locating everything, which makes all the difference. "I looked up twice (at the pitch speed on the scoreboard) and it was 86," he said of Monday's performance. "I never looked up again!"

The second is that he's dead serious and focused at the moment it's time to throw the ball, but he's loose before and after. Even on the mound.

"There's no reason not to keep the game light," he says.

His favorite part of the game now is getting a hitter out one way the first time he comes up, then getting him out another way each time after.

"That's the cool part about baseball," he said. "You don't have to be 6-6 and 250 and be some superb athlete. You can outthink people. Your heart, your brain, it all comes into play."

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