Atlanta Braves All-Decade Team of the 2010’s

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 23: The Atlanta Braves logo is painted on the field at Champion stadium during a spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets on March 23, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 23: The Atlanta Braves logo is painted on the field at Champion stadium during a spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets on March 23, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves All-2010s

Team CLOSER:  CRAIG KIMBREL

More from Call to the Pen

  • 2010-2014
  • NL Leader in saves 4 straight years (2011-2014)
  • 14.8 K/9
  • 2011 Rookie of the Year
  • 4 All-Star appearances

During his time in Atlanta, Craig Kimbrel was arguably the most intimidating pitcher in baseball.  His menacing pre-windup crouch, blazing fastball and wipeout slider were the closest thing to automatic that the game had to offer, and hitters knew it too.

He was such a dominant force that he even garnered MVP votes 3 years in a row, and Cy Young votes four years consecutively, feats that are extremely rare if not historic for relief pitchers.  The highest season ERA he ever posted with the Braves was a minuscule 2.10, and he struck out 476 batters over just 289 innings.

Anyone who had the pleasure of watching Craig pitch remembers his fantastic entrance to home games, where Turner Field would blackout, and the flames would begin creeping across the scoreboard to “Welcome to the Jungle”.  You knew then, the game was effectively over.

Next. Pirates make right move with Ben Cherington. dark

Kimbrel was traded to the Padres the eve of opening day in 2014 and has since pitched for the Red Sox, Padres, and Cubs, but for Atlanta Braves fans, there wasn’t a more exciting thing to hear than “RELEASE THE KIMBREL!”