Anytime you are mentioned in a list with sure-fire Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz you should feel pretty good. Craig Kimbrel joined that club on Saturday night as he tied the Atlanta Braves franchise save record once held by Smoltz.
Kimbrel entered Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins with two on and one out in the ninth inning, and proceeded to notch the final two outs to tally his 15th of the season and the 154th of his young career.
Did I say young? Let’s remember this kid has only been pitching in the majors for five seasons.
At 26 years old, Kimbrel is already set to eclipse one franchise record, and has already set to MLB records, being the youngest player to ever reach 150 saves, and the fastest player to ever record 400 strikeouts.
In 20 and 1/3 innings pitched this season, Kimbrel has recorded (along with his 15 saves) 37 strikeouts and only nine walks, while sporting an ERA of just 1.77, along with his 1.033 WHIP.
Smoltz also holds the National League single-season saves record (tied with Eric Gagne) with 55 saves, Kimbrel came close to that mark in 2013, notching 50 saves.
Barring a major meltdown or injury problem, Kimbrel is well on his way to challenging many records for closers in both the Braves franchise and in MLB.
See Kimbrel live by grabbing 2014 Braves tickets!
[Stats via: baseball-reference.com]