Posted March 02, 2013 on AP on Fox
PLAYERS: Craig Kimbrel
TEAMS: Atlanta Braves
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer Craig Kimbrel has a tough encore in 2013. After all, he's coming off one of the most dominant seasons for a closer in baseball history. Kimbrel had 42 saves for the Atlanta Braves, but that only tells part of the story. His ERA was a microscopic 1.01. He allowed just 27 hits in 62 2-3 innings. Most astonishing, he had 116 strikeouts - fanning more than half of the 231 batters he faced. The right-hander can blow batters away with a 100 mph fastball. When Kimbrel mixes in a knee-bending slider - which is harder than most pitchers' fastballs - well, it just doesn't seem fair. He's also improved his control, issuing only 14 walks last season. Kimbrel leaves Sunday to close for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.
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