Braves closer posted third consecutive season of 40+ saves.
In a day where a common refrain is “closers are overvalued” or “anyone can be a closer”, there are those that seem well-suited for the “role”. Case in point, Blog Red Machine’s nominees for Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s (BBA’s) Goose Gossage Award presented to the NL’s top reliever. For the 2013 season, there isn’t much of a contest.
Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
The 2011 NL Rookie of the Year led all of baseball with 50 saves. He converted those 50 saves in 54 opportunities. Kimbrel once again crafted an amazing SO/9 of 13.2, accumulating 97 strikeouts in 67 innings. Opposing batters hit a meager .166 against him. He served up only four home runs for the entire season, but we Reds fans fondly remember two of those.
And the second…
One of the lasting memories from this postseason will be Kimbrel all ready to go in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 4 of NLDS. His Braves held a 3-2 lead, but Kimbrel never saw the Dodger Stadium mound as the Braves were ousted from the postseason in that game, 4-3, as the Dodgers scored two in that inning.
During the 2013 season, Kimbrel was selected to this third All-Star Game and will surely receive consideration for the NL Cy Young Award and possibly garner some votes for NL MVP as he has done the past two seasons.
Other BRM nominees for the BBA awards: