The Atlanta Braves had a giant question mark heading into the postseason. Will Smith had been shaky at best at times this year, turning the ninth inning into an adventure. While the bullpen had become a strength, Smith was the possible Achilles’ heel to the Braves’ postseason hopes.
That changed once the postseason began. Smith has become virtually untouchable in October, joining legendary closer Mariano Rivera as the only relievers with at least two wins and six saves in a single postseason.
Will Smith dominating when Atlanta Braves need him most
The idea that Smith and Rivera would be joined together would have been laughable just a few weeks ago. While Smith was getting the job done, he had a penchant for walking a tightrope in the ninth inning.
A look at Smith’s overall numbers would not give that impression. He notched 37 saves while posting a 3.44 ERA and a 1.132 WHiP, striking out 87 batters with 28 walks in his 68 innings. However, he also served up 11 homers while those walks made his appearances a nerve wracking experience.
But Smith has been a different pitcher in the postseason. He has dominated when the Braves needed him most, allowing just four hits and three walks over his ten shutout innings. It is not a surprise that he has found so much success in terms of wins and saves during the Braves’ playoff run this year.
Chances are, Smith will be on the mound if the Braves find themselves about to clinch the championship. He has closed out each of the ten games he has appeared in this postseason, and would seemingly have one more outing left. That could come as soon as Sunday night.
Atlanta Braves closer Will Smith has gone from a question mark to an asset during the postseason. He just needs one more strong outing.