Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel made history Saturday night in Texas by becoming the fastest pitcher to record 300 saves.
The only thing sweeter than a comeback victory on a hot night in Texas was the game ending with a Craig Kimbrel save. This is typically how Boston Red Sox victories end; however, this one was special and here’s why.
In nailing down the save, Kimbrel joined the history books by becoming the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach his 300th save. The feat in itself is remarkable, but being the youngest pitcher to do so in less appearances than any other pitcher is fascinating.
Above all else, capturing such a moment during the season adds to the emotional rollercoaster the Red Sox closer has been on since before the beginning of the season.
Kimbrel, who missed most of Spring Training helping his wife care of their daughter following heart surgery, has returned as dominant as ever. Much of his focus has been due to the support he has received from his teammates. Following the 6-5 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Park, those same teammates celebrated his milestone in heartfelt fashion.
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"“They clapped for a long time,” Kimbrel said, via MLB.com. “It was nice to have these guys behind me and to show their appreciation for me – it’s really neat. Everything I do every night is to go out there and make sure what they do counts so it was really neat for them to be waiting on me. They’re waiting on me a lot, usually for a bus – not for me to get back in the clubhouse. It was very nice and I’m glad they did that.”"
All joking aside, it was great to see the amount of care the 2018 version of the Boston Red Sox have for one another. It is also great to see a player like Craig Kimbrel recognized for all he has been able to capture on the mound in such a brief period of time.
Sure, there are times he is wild on the mound or blows a save, but he is pretty much on the money in closing games. Hey, he wouldn’t have recorded his 300th save if he wasn’t a consistent, reliable reliever.
Ironically, according to Kimbrel, the milestone occurred on the 8-year anniversary of him being called up to the major leagues. Now that’s pretty cool for the Boston Red Sox closer.