Atlanta Braves vs St. Louis Cardinals: Craig Kimbrel Struggles Again

Chris WilkesContributor IIMay 1, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 22:  Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Atlanta Braves in action against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a third bad outing, Atlanta's rookie closer is starting to raise questions about the Atlanta bullpen. The hard-throwing righty started the season off in impressive form with five saves and a 8:0 K/BB ratio. He seemed stellar in his early outings, not allowing a hit until April 10. 

Lately however, batters have been proving the mortality of Kimbrel. Over the last week, he has been hit hard, suffering his first blown save and loss at the hands of the Cardinals. Kimbrel has struggled against St. Louis, surrendering four hits and a walk with only one strikeout in his two appearances. 

Atlanta fans have little reason to panic, though. The closer has shown mostly excellent poise, and will likely return to his early-season form. If in the condition the closer role needs to be addressed, the most viable option is fellow youngster Johnny Venters who has been just as reliable as last season. 


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