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Craig Kimbrel gives up back-to-back homers in loss to Reds

May 7, 2013, 11:06 PM EDT

Shin-Soo Choo

Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel took his third blown save, matching his total from 2012, and his first loss after giving up back-to-back homers to Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo in the Reds’ 5-4 win over the Braves on Tuesday.

They were the second and third homers surrendered by Kimbrel in 14 1/3 innings this year. He’s allowed just as many homers this year as he did in 77 innings in 2011 and in 62 2/3 innings last year. He’s currently 10-for-13 saving games this year after going 42-for-45 last season.

Kimbrel also proved surprisingly vulnerable this spring, but he started the regular season with 8 2/3 scoreless innings before taking his first blown save on April 24. He’s allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings since that date.

It’s not like Kimbrel has been all bad, what with his 21/3 K/BB ratio to date. His velocity has held steady — he’s still throwing 95-98 mph — but he’s never been as comfortable with his breaking ball this year as he was in 2012. Both homers tonight came on 96-mph fastballs low in the zone. Mesoraco’s barely got over the wall in center.

Choo’s walkoff homer was his second solo shot of the game. He has seven homers in 126 at-bats this year after hitting 16 in 598 at-bats for Cleveland last season.

  1. evanwins - May 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Wait…You mean Kimbrel is NOT going to have the same amazing year he had last year? Hmmm. But, everyone said he would. In fact I don’t even remember anyone even questioning that he might not.

    • elpendejo59 - May 8, 2013 at 1:13 AM


      I am curious to hear which one of the famed pundits we all hear from so often claimed he could be as good as he was last year. I still feel he will have an amazing number of years as a top-flight closer, if not a whole career based on what has been seen so far. Plenty of people have questioned 2012, and openly stated some form of regression was due (It Was). To what degree would be the question. No one, not even the famed #42 in New York, puts up those numbers year over year, even as great as Mo’s numbers are. Kimbrel has already proven what he is over the 3 years he has been in the league. Nice try, though.

      • evanwins - May 8, 2013 at 1:38 AM

        Here’s 3:

        and look at his fantasy picks.

        And if you google Kimbrel regression you get nothing, so you show me.

        Nive try though.

      • scoocha - May 8, 2013 at 10:21 AM

        All the pundits and analysts stated he would be unhittable for years to come. Kimbrel has been awesome but most closers have a limited self life after putting a bunch of amazing seasons together. Ex: Brian Harvey, Troy Percival, Doug Jones, K-Rod. Let’s wait and see if he will be included in this group or the Rivera, Wagner, Hoffman group.
        Evan hit this on the nose. Don’t get mad at him for being right.

    • baseballisboring - May 8, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      I think usually when somebody is really, really good, you kinda expect them to keep being really, really good. When someone sucks you expect them to suck, when someone is slightly above average you expect them to be slightly above average, etc…I don’t think it’s a grand conspiracy…

      • scoocha - May 8, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        Yeah but that’s not how baseball works. Careers come in streaks. They great ones manage to stay consistently above average for a period of 10+ years. Many players have had a string of 3 great seasons only to fall off afterward. I like Kimbrel but I just think everyone needs to settle down and see where his career goes.

      • baseballisboring - May 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Usually that’s because they get hurt.

  2. melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Goes to show how crazy last year was. Lots of skill and lots of luck.

    • baseballisboring - May 8, 2013 at 1:24 AM

      Just substitute “last year” with “baseball”. This sport makes no damn sense, and I love it.

  3. Old Gator - May 7, 2013 at 11:32 PM


    • nbjays - May 8, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      Gator, it’s all that spring pollen in the air in Cincinnati. Makes everyone say Choo a lot.

      Damn allergies.

  4. whitdog23 - May 8, 2013 at 12:05 AM


  5. evanwins - May 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Did Chipper tweet about him being the save blower in the game and how he thinks Chapman should be moved to the rotation?

  6. jamessmyth621 - May 8, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    The last time the Reds hit tying and walk-off homers back-to-back was on Opening Day 2005 when Adam Dunn hit a two-run shot off Braden Looper, then Joe Randa went deep to beat the Mets.

    But the last time the Braves gave up tying and walk-off homers back-to-back was on May 6, 1945! With the New York Giants trailing the Boston Braves 3-2 at the Polo Grounds, Phil Weintraub led off the bottom of the ninth with a homer off of Nate Andrews. Ernie Lombardi came up next and hit another dinger to win it.

  7. Stiller43 - May 8, 2013 at 12:50 AM


    Thats in reference to hearing (seeing) shin soo-choo’s name…

    And i must say, it still gets me every time!

    • fraudguy - May 8, 2013 at 5:56 AM

      Stiller43…your Old Gator is showing.

  8. atlfan31833 - May 8, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Why is it things are seldom written about the Braves until something negative can be said. I get information overload of all the other teams about girlfriends, rain delays, and other useless sports info.

  9. scoocha - May 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    How long before we hear a self-diagnosis about shoulder soreness or elbow stiffness?

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