For as long as I can remember there was stress going into the ninth inning for the Atlanta Braves. No matter how large the lead was, most of the time the closer spot wasn’t a constant place for confidence over the years. Sure there were stretches where there was a solid man heading the bullpen. Mark Wohlers was solid enough to help the team win a World Series but just barely. John Smoltz was solid in the role but never without drama. Craig Kimbrel brings a stability and confidence to the ninth inning that Braves fans have dreamed about for decades.
His stuff speaks for itself but just for fun we’ll touch on it a little. With an easy effortless motion he can blow away the best of the best with his fastball. He is one of those pitchers that appears to already know what the result of the at bat is going to be before he throws the pitch. Trevor Hoffman comes to mind in the same vein of confidence.
As far as confidence goes, the Braves fans can have that warm feeling that as long as the majority of the games get to Kimbrel in the ninth inning with a lead, most of the games will go into the wins column. A young, healthy and dominant closer like Kimbrel is the kind that any team would be more than happy to have. The Braves had better plan ahead and try to lock him up for a long time.
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