Padres News: Craig Kimbrel Fastest in MLB History to 200 Saves

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When the San Diego Padres acquired Craig Kimbrel from the Atlanta Braves on Easter Sunday, my immediate reaction was to just laugh. I did so for about 10 minutes straight. I would assume my reaction to the Padres finally winning a World Series would be similar.

Adding a dominant closer like Craig Kimbrel to an already formidable bullpen seemed likely to catapult the Padres team to an unknown level. That hasn’t exactly panned out, as all the over-haul on the roster has created a slow start. The team of recent, has picked things up, and Padres fans are truly beginning to see how dominant this team can be. It’s beginning to become very exciting in Padreland.

The winning formula for a Padres win is great starting pitching and an early lead. The starting pitchers are very likely to keep the game within reach. If the Padres start off the game scoring runs, then the team is in fantastic shape. With Joaquin Benoit, Brandon Maurer, Dale Thayer and Kevin Quackenbush, the Padres have essentially five guys that are capable of closing out a ball game.

Maurer is particular has looked filthy. He is dispatching the leagues best hitters with ease, and some Padres fans still feel his future could be in the rotation. Maurer has three above average pitches and at the age of 24, he ultimately could be a starter. The Padres have surely discussed that potentially happening, but for now the man will pitch out of the bullpen. He seems content with that.

Craig Kimbrel being the fastest pitcher to 200 saves is quite an accomplishment. To be that dominant so early in his career is a rare thing. Kimbrel is the latest in a long line of dominant Padres closers. Its really an amazing thing.  I wrote about that fact here. check it out.

The 200 saves at the age of 27, proves that Kimbrel learned his craft at an early age. He has shown no signs of slowing down either. He has 14 saves this season and his inflated ERA is down to 4.09. He got off to a rough start in his Padres tenure. Kimbrel was due for a stretch of dominant performances and they are coming at the right time. Having a dominant closer like him shortens the ball game, and when you factor in the dominance of the Padres set-up men, the game shortens even more. That is the recipe for success, the Padres must stick to it in order to succeed.

If the Padres can get a lead, it will be tough for teams to take it back from their staff. James Shields uncharacteristically gave up the lead on Tuesday night and Joaquin Benoit ultimately earned the loss. That should not typically happen with this Padres staff. Sometimes things can turn in a ball game, in a heart beat, and they did just that in Atlanta in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Padres had all their momentum taken from them. It happens. As a ball club, you just have to brush it off and get them next time.

You can be certain that the Padres team will hold the lead the majority of the time. Benoit has given up some big tie breaking home runs this season, but he has a solid track record and should improve. Kimbrel has already improved his number and he will close the door on potential rallies.

The 200 career saves is a very impressive accomplishment. We as Padres fans are lucky to have witnessed such quality closers through the teams history. Kimbrel should be in the Padres uniform for the next four years. His future is bright and so is the future of the San Diego Padres

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