Even when Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel isn’t on his A-game, he still manages to set records.
This time it was the All-Star pitcher’s strikeout of former Braves catcher Brayan Pena, giving Kimbrel his 400th career strikeout and making him the fastest pitcher to ever reach that number in major league history.
And Kimbrel didn’t just break the record, he absolutely shattered it.
The previous record was held by another former Brave, Billy Wagner, who threw his 400th strike out in 257.7 innings and faced 1039 total batters, giving him a strikeout percentage of 38.5 percent – all stats which were tops in MLB history for the 400 strikeout mark.
Kimbrel managed to accomplish the feat in only 236 innings, and 923 batters faced, giving him a strikeout percentage of 43.3 percent, essentially obliterating Wagner’s record which had stood since the 2000 season.
Not only topping Wagner, the Braves fireballer also passed by former closers Rob Dibble and Brad Lidge.
Kimbrel added one more strikeout — his 401st — while earning his league-leading 7th save of the season in the Braves 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.