Craig Kimbrel Flourishes In April

by Frank Pimentel | Posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017
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The Boston Red Sox finished the month of April with a 13-11 record and the biggest bright-side for the Boston club after the first month beyond Chris Sale has been Craig Kimbrel. The right-handed flame thrower who is now in his second season as the Boston closer is pitching the best baseball of his Red Sox career right now. He looks like the Kimbrel from his days with the Atlanta Braves and the one that Dave Dombrowski was no doubt enthused to have after acquiring him in a trade with San Diego a winter ago.

Kimbrel has commanded the zone with his fastball and has been striking out opposing hitters at an alarming rate. The one time Kimbrel blew a save over the month, it was a game-tying solo home run to Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays, but in that same outing the righty struck out five batters over two innings and picked up the win after initially blowing the save. The offense picked up their All-Star closer and he has been just about lights out in every appearance this season.

All in all, Kimbrel is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and 20 strikeouts over 11 appearances in the month of April. Kimbrel finished off the both wins at Fenway over the weekend on the defending champion Chicago Cubs. Kimbrel retired the side in order on Sunday night in a non-save opportunity. The veteran also picked up the save in Friday’s 5-4 win, during which he struck out Kris Bryant who was hitting everything out of Fenway and got Anthony Rizzo swinging too.

The 28-year-old Boston closer has dominated opposing batters with his fastball that touches near triple digits and mixes in his knuckle-curve making it a lethal combo. Kimbrel has 8 saves tied for the American League lead and is on his way to being a six-time All-Star. Kimbrel does tend to throw a lot of pitches more often than not, but his command has been there in 2017 and speaking for myself, I am confident each time he takes the ball with the game on the line. Kimbrel is striking out a staggering 17.4 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.7.

The biggest takeaway from the month of April for the Red Sox who have struggled to produce enough offense at time and been shaky defensively, has been the pure dominance of their closer who is sixth on the active save leader-board with 264. Craig Kimbrel flourished in the month of April and will continue to victimize and conquer opposing hitters through the remainder of the season.

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Frank Pimentel
About the Author

Frank is a passionate baseball fan and writer. Aspiring baseball front office executive. Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankBostonTank.

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