by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/18/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel entered Saturday against the Dodgers in the ninth inning with a two-run lead.
The right-hander needed 10 pitches to strike out two and retired the side in order to secure a 3-1 win. He has 13 saves and a 2.76 ERA. Kimbrel has converted three-straight saves since his last blown save May 7.
Craig Kimbrel closes out Dodgers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/18/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel notched his 12th save of the season Friday night against the Dodgers.
Kimbrel, who entered the game in the ninth with a three-run lead, worked his way around a base hit, as he struck out two batters and made it out of the frame unscathed to secure an 8-5 victory. It was his second consecutive save since blowing his third save of the season on May 7.
Craig Kimbrel bounces back
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/10/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel bounced back from his third blown save in five tries, as he tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the Giants Thursday. Kimbrel allowed a ground-rule double with two outs, but picked up three weak groundball outs otherwise to close out a 6-3 win.
Kimbrel lowered his ERA to 3.14 while saving his 11th game in 14 tries. This was his 100th career save in 114 opportunities.
Braves manager not worried about Craig Kimbrel
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/8/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel took his third blown save in his last five appearances Tuesday against the Reds. On Wednesday, manager Fredi Gonzalez showed no concern over Kimbrel's recent struggles.
"It is what it is," Gonzalez said, per MLB.com. "At the end of the year, [Kimbrel's] going to have 40-something saves and five blown saves or four blown saves. It just so happens he's getting them right here in a little bunch. No worries."
After recording eight saves and posting a 0.00 ERA in his first nine outings, Kimbrel has a 9.64 ERA, two saves and three blown saves in 4 2/3 innings since April 24.
"We probably won't [use him Wednesday]," Gonzalez said, "but yeah, if we've got a save situation [Thursday], we run him back out there, of course."
No reason to worry about Craig Kimbrel
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/7/2013) In just five weeks of action, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel already has allowed as many home runs as he did all of last year -- three -- the same number of blown saves he had in both seasons. It is especially discouraging that all three have come in his last five apperances.
Is it time to start worrying about Kimbrel, the consensus top closer in the game entering the season?
Kimbrel allowed a pair of home runs as he blew his third save of the season Tuesday, but there does not appear to be any physical issues underlying his stumble. Kimbrel hit 96 mph n eight of 11 fastballs Tuesday, and he is averaging 96.1 mph on his fastball for the season, so there is little reason to think he is struggling through an injury. He is still striking out 14.18 batters with just 2.03 walks per nine innings, but he has had some bad luck with home runs.
The only significant change in Kimbrel's line is he is allowing more flyballs to come off the bats of opposing hitters. Tuesday, he allowed two fly balls and two home runs, pushing his percentage of flyballs that have gone over the fence to 25 percent on the season. That number was just 9.7 last year and 5.3 the previous year, so we can probably assume this is just a small blip.
Long story short, there is nearly no reason for Fantasy owners to panic right now. The 24-year-old is still blowing batters away with filthy stuff and pinpoint control. One out of four flyballs will almost certainly not keep leaving the yard for him, so all signs still point to Kimbrel dominating from this point on. This is not a controversial opinion, but I would not expect Kimbrel to keep struggling.
Craig Kimbrel can't hang on to late lead
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/7/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel could not hang on to a late lead as he gave up back-to-back solo home runs and blew his third save of the season Tuesday night against the Reds.
Kimbrel (0-1) entered the ninth inning with a one-run advantage. He served up a solo home run to Devin Mesoraco to tie the game and a walkoff solo shot to Shin-Soo Choo. Kimbrel surrendered two runs, two hits and struck out two in two-thirds of an inning.
He has converted just two of his last five save opportunities and has watched his ERA rise from 0.00 to 3.38 over that span.
Craig Kimbrel rebounds for 10th save
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/6/2013) After blowing the save his last time out, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was able to get back on track in Monday's series opener against the Reds. He entered in the ninth inning with a three-run lead and worked around two singles to make it through the unscathed.
Kimbrel struck out one while earning his 10th save in the 7-4 win.
Craig Kimbrel blows save by surrendering homer
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (5/3/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel suffered his second blown save of the year Friday night after surrendering a game-tying home run to David Wright in the ninth inning. He struck out the other three batters he faced, giving Kimbrel 18 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings this season.
Craig Kimbrel makes quick work of Nats
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/29/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel entered Monday's series opener against the Nationals in the ninth inning with a one-run lead. The right-hander needed 10 pitches to retire the side in order and secure a 3-2 win.
Kimbrel also struck out one while collecting his ninth save.
Craig Kimbrel blows save
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/24/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel suffered his first blown save of the year Wednesday, allowing two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out two in the ninth inning. He avoided taking the loss by extending the game into extra innings tied 5-5.
Kimbrel hadn't allowed any earned runs before the blown save and now sits with a 1.86 ERA and 14:3 K:BB ratio in 9 2/3 innings.
Craig Kimbrel Ks two, picks up eighth save
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel earned his eighth save in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Rockies.
Kimbrel entered in the ninth inning with a one-run lead. He struck out two and allowed a single to Wilin Rosario, who was caught stealing to end the 4-3 game.
Kimbrel has converted all eight of his save opportunities and has allowed a run through 8 2/3 innings.
Craig Kimbrel blows Pirates away
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/18/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel picked up his seventh save of the season Thursday against the Pirates, and he did so in convincing fashion. Kimbrel needed 16 pitches to strike out the side, preserving a 6-4 win.
Kimbrel now has seven saves in seven opportunities, and he has yet to allow a run in 7 2/3 innings. Kimbrel has walked two and allowed two hits while striking out 10 batters.
Craig Kimbrel remains untouched early
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/13/2013) Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel fired another pristine inning of relief to notch his sixth save of the season during Atlanta's 3-1 victory over Washington on Saturday. Kimbrel, who is sporting a perfect ERA, struck out a batter for the sixth straight game as he needed just 10 pitches (eight strikes) to complete his outing.
Craig Kimbrel shuts it down in extras
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/13/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel continued his perfect start to the season Friday, tossing a one-two-three ninth in an extra-inning victory over the Nationals.
Kimbrel set down the side in order with one strikeout in the 10th inning to finish off a 6-4, come-from-behind win. Kimbrel saved his fifth game in five tries and his ERA hangs at a pristine 0.00 through five innings.
Craig Kimbrel picks up save No. 4
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (4/9/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel notched save No. 4 during Tuesday's contest against the Marlins.
The right-hander entered the game in the ninth inning with a one-run lead and walked leadoff hitter Donovan Solano before settling down. He pitched a scoreless inning as he struck out one and walked one to secure a 3-2 victory.
Kimbrel, who has a 0.75 WHIP, has allowed just one hit and has yet to allow a run through his first four save opportunities.
Craig Kimbrel earns third save
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/8/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel entered Monday's series opener against the Marlins in the ninth inning with a one-run lead. He issued a leadoff walk and gave up a two-out single but was able to make it through unscathed to secure the 2-0 win.
Kimbrel also struck out one to earn his third save.
Craig Kimbrel dispatches Cubs quickly
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/6/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel continued to pitch up to expectations Friday, picking up his second save of the season against the Cubs.
Kimbrel worked another scoreless ninth to save a 4-1 win. He struck out one batter, and needed just eight pitches to finish the job. He has two saves in two appearances through the first four games of the season.
Craig Kimbrel closes out Phillies
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/1/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel entered Monday's season opener against the Phillies in the ninth inning with a two-run lead. The right-hander needed 16 pitches to retire the side in order and secure the 7-5 win. Kimbrel also struck out one while collecting his first save of the season.
Manager: Craig Kimbrel should be 'juiced' for regular season
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/31/2013) Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez remains confident that closer Craig Kimbrel will shake off a tough spring and return to his dominant ways once the season begins. Kimbrel finished with 5.63 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over eight innings in Grapefruit League play.
"It just takes a little bit of a tweak to his delivery and he gets right back on track," Gonzalez said. "I think he'll be fine. When you're a closer, you get juiced up for that ninth inning -- and it's hard to get that adrenaline that you live for in the sixth inning of a Spring Training game."
Craig Kimbrel ready for the season
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/30/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel made his final appearance of the spring Saturday, in an exhibition game against the team's Double-A affiliate.
Kimbrel allowed two and a walk, with one of the hits going for extra bases. He managed to pitch out of a jam with three strikeouts. Kimbrel seems ready for the beginning of the regular season, after a 5.63 ERA in spring training.
Kimbrel is coming off a dominant season for a closer, allowing seven earned runs in 62 2/3 innings, while striking out 116 and walking 14. He saved 42 games in 45 opportunities.
Craig Kimbrel gets back on track
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/16/2013) Just a day after blowing a save in the ninth inning, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel bounced back with a solid inning of work for Team USA in Friday's game against Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Kimbrel entered in the ninth inning and allowed an infield single to Luis Figueroa for his only damage of the night. He forced the next two batters to pop out and left the frame unscathed. Kimbrel finished the tournament with a 4.91 ERA.
Craig Kimbrel blown save no big deal
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/15/2013)Craig Kimbrel, the closer who blew only three saves for the Braves during what was arguably the most dominant season ever for a reliever, blew one with national pride on the line Thurday. But from a Fantasy perspective, it doesn't mean much. The most unfortunate part about it was the stage.
Those who care about the World Baseball Classic -- and no doubt, a contingent of Fantasy-playing types do -- had their hearts broken by it when, if it happened in Grapefruit League play, they wouldn't have even noticed. It really shouldn't change your opinion of Kimbrel on draft day.
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/15/2013) After not allowing more than one hit in any of his outings last season, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel could not close out the side in the ninth inning and was pegged with the loss for Team USA on Thursday night against the Dominican Republic.
With the score tied at a run apiece, Kimbrel allowed a leadoff double to Nelson Cruz. Erick Aybar then singled in the go-ahead run and stole second base. Jose Reyes then slapped a single off Kimbrel to seal the game. Kimbrel allowed two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. He also struck out one and did not issue a walk in a 3-1 defeat. It was the first time Kimbrel has allowed more than a run in an outing since Sept. 19, 2011.
"That's just the way it went today," Kimbrel said. "They got the momentum. Cruz got on with the double to start it off. Any time that happens, it's tough to rebound and get back. We had a chance against Aybar to possibly get the strikeout. It didn't happen."
Kimbrel finishes off P.R.
(3/12/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was called upon by Team USA in the ninth inning of Tuesday's World Baseball Classic matchup against Puerto Rico. He entered with a six-run lead and worked a scoreless inning. Kimbrel gave up on hit and threw just eight pitches while securing the 7-1 win.
Kimbrel closes out Canada
(3/10/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel entered for Team USA in the ninth inning of Sunday's World Baseball Classic matchup against Canada with a five-run lead. The right-hander needed 16 pitches to retire the side in order and secure the 9-4 win. Kimbrel struck out two of the three batters he faced.
(3/6/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel allowed four runs (three earned) in his four Grapefruit League appearances but fared better pitching for Team USA on Wednesday night against the Rockies. He worked a perfect inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Kimbrel gives up another run
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/2/2013) Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel pitched the seventh inning on Saturday against Houston. He had a rough frame as he allowed a run on two walks and a base hit. Kimbrel also struck out two batters. It was his fourth appearance of the spring and his ERA is at 6.75. "Yeah, I gave up runs, but I kind of figured it out today," Kimbrel told MLB.com. "I figured out what I needed to and where I am. If I hadn't finished the way I did, I wouldn't feel too good about it. But I do now. It all just clicked and came to me at a pretty good time."
Kimbrel striving for comfort zone
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/22/2013) Atlanta relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel hurled a scoreless -- yet erratic -- inning during his first Grapefruit League appearance in the Braves' 2-1 loss to Detroit on Friday. Kimbrel replaced starter Tim Hudson in the third inning and walked the first two batters he faced on eight pitches. He retired the next three hitters to hold the Tigers from crossing the plate, but also fired a wild pitch in the inning that advanced the runners.
Kimbrel should continue to excel
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (1/14/2013) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been outstanding his first two full seasons in the majors, closing out 88 games and striking out 243 batters in 139 2/3 innings since the start of the 2011 season. And the Braves aren't expecting the 24-year-old closer to let up. "I look for him to do the same thing he's done the last couple years," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, per MLB.com. "You don't have a crystal ball in front of you, but here he is. If he can do this for a 10-, 12-year career span, he'll be up there with some of the big names and closers, you know, the [Mariano] Riveras and [Trevor] Hoffmans and those type of guys. Maybe a little longer than 12 years, but I don't look for him to do anything more really. He keeps getting better because he wants to get better."