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Craig Kimbrel struggles in return from right shoulder issue, apologizes for reaction to being pulled

Apr 20, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

kimbrel getty Getty Images

Craig Kimbrel was called on Saturday for the first time since complaining of discomfort in his shoulder last Monday. The appearance did not go smoothly.

Kimbrel hit Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. with a one-out pitch, yielded a single to Daniel Murphy, a double to David Wright, a two-out single to Chris Young, and then walked Lucas Duda. Atlanta’s ninth-inning lead had shrunk from 7-3 to 7-5, and after the free pass to Duda manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to pull his struggling closer, who had thrown 24 pitches.

Kimbrel was visibly upset as Gonzalez stepped out of the dugout and appeared to express that directly to the skipper as he moved toward the mound. Jordan Walden came on and neeedd just three pitches to pick up the save, which left Kimbrel feeling bad about the way he acted toward Gonzalez after the game. has a good video mashup of the pitching change and Kimbrel’s postgame interview:

  1. faccda01 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Craig would find a way to blame Philly fans.

    • Old Gator - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Kimbrel’s got a lot of pride and fire in him and was obviously more frustrated with himself than with Fat Fredi, but he manned up pretty manupfully afterwards. He’s one of the most exciting guys to watch out there and I hope his shoulder problem is a passing thing.

      • 4d3fect - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        “manupfully”, heh.

  2. apeville - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    He’s one of my favorite to watch – and that intensity can’t be automatically turned off. It was the right choice to pull him, though.

  3. renaado - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Damnit! Really hope Kimbrel’s shoulder injury isn’t actin up here, Fredi definitely made the right decision pulling him out there.

  4. gattaga72 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Kimbrel is showing his ROID rage!!!!! Remember his reaction in the bullpen after the Juan uribe HR ….. Kimbrel is wait her a big baby or needs to tone down his ROID intake…..

    • tbird05 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      You are an idiot. How about you watch his behavior in interviews versus when he is on the mound. He is probably one of the most laid back guys on the team. When it comes to a save situation? Well, he does what any great closer would do…he gets amped up. The kid is passionate, and that passion is what makes him the most dominate closer in baseball. I would be more concerned if he came out of the game without putting up a fight. I realize that we live in an era when it is much easier to label someone a cheater just because they are good at baseball, but I would be very surprised if Kimbrel was juicing. Might want to tone back the accusations unless you have some reason for throwing them around.

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