Craig Kimbrel has only been in the big leagues for four calendar years, but he already owns a piece of Atlanta sports history.
On Saturday, as part of Atlanta’s never-dull victory over the Miami Marlins, Kimbrel earned his 154th career save for the Braves, tying John Smoltz’s all-time franchise mark.
Kimbrel has been an elite-level reliever for the Braves since breaking into the majors on May 7, 2010 (age 21), posting the following career numbers: 1.42 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 154 saves.
The three-time All-Star (2011-13) and 2011 National League Rookie of the Year is on his way to another stellar campaign in 2014, tallying a 1.82 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 37/9 K-BB rate and converting on 15-of-17 save chances.
A viable candidate for the baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, Smoltz (1998-2009) amassed 213 wins and 3,084 strikeouts over 21 MLB seasons. But as a means of recuperating from major shoulder and elbow surgeries, Smoltz moved to the bullpen and served as the Braves’ closer from 2001-04.
Smoltz is the only pitcher in major league history to collect 200 victories and 150 saves.