The Philadelphia Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves in a battle of NL East foes on Friday night. Philadelphia came out on top, with the ending featuring a full circle moment for closer Craig Kimbrel.
The 34-year-old Kimbrel recorded his 400th career save on Friday night. He is the eighth pitcher to record 400 saves in their major league career. And he did it in Atlanta, the city where his big league career began.
The Braves actually drafted Kimbrel on two separate occasions. Atlanta drafted him in the 33rd round in 2007, but the Wallace State product decided not to sign. He eventually signed with the team in 2008 as a third-round pick.
Kimbrel broke into the major leagues with the Braves in 2010. In 2011, Kimbrel broke out, finishing the season by winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
The 34-year-old pitched five seasons in Atlanta, emerging as one of the most feared closers in the league. Kimbrel pitched to a sparkling 1.40 ERA in 294 games with the Braves. He struck out 476 batters and saved 186 games.
In 2015, the Braves traded Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel pitched well in San Diego, recording a 2.58 ERA and 39 saves for the Friars that season. However, the team fell below expectations and missed the playoffs. The Padres traded him to the Boston Red Sox in November 2015.
Kimbrel had a few up-and-down moments in a Red Sox uniform. He had a spectacular 2017 season and recorded a 2.44 ERA and 108 saves with the Red Sox. Kimbrel also won his first World Series in 2018.
After the Red Sox, Kimbrel spent time with the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he had his struggles throughout his time with those teams.
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