BOSTON (CBS) — Craig Kimbrel isn’t just slamming the door shut on opponents this season, he’s disposing of them with relative ease.
The Red Sox’ closer continued his dominating start to the 2017 season on Wednesday night, notching his 15th save in Boston’s 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. Kimbrel put together another 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side for the seventh time this season.
Matt Davidson, Tim Anderson and Omar Narvaez all went to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning for Chicago and they all went down by way of the K, looking completely overmatched by Kimbrel in the process. After feeding him four straight fastballs, Kimbrel froze Davidson on a 2-2 curve ball to start the frame. He blew Anderson away with a 99 mile per hour fastball and caught Narvaez looking at a 98 mile per hour heater to seal the game for Boston.
Kimbrel has yet to allow a hit to a right-handed batter this season, with righties now 0-for-45 against the Boston closer.
“Nothing is ever given or automatic, but he’s pretty darn close right now,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the victory. “It’s efficient. It’s two wipe out pitches. It’s fun to see.”
Kimbrel is up to 45 punch outs in just 24 innings pitched. He hasn’t given up a hit in his last nine games, and has issued just three walks this season.
It may have been a bit of a roller coaster when Kimbrel took the mound last season, his first in Boston, but that couldn’t be further from the case in 2017. The flame-throwing closer has been lights out for the Red Sox and is on a truly amazing stretch at the moment.
Adam Jones & Nick Cattles discuss Kimbrel’s dominant season: