The Red Sox edged the Rangers on Saturday night in Arlington (BOS 6, TEX 5) and maintained a slim division lead over the surging Yankees. Of note is that Boston closer Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth for the save (and in the process lowered his ERA to 1.23). Speaking of Kimbrel and saves, there’s also this … 

Indeed, Kimbrel is the 32nd member of the 300 saves club, and, as you see above, he got there at a younger age than anyone before him. Also note that lockdown save percentage. 

As for the history-making out, it was naturally enough a strikeout … 

For his career, Kimbrel has struck out 41.8 percent of opposing batters, which is a remarkable figure. Speaking remarkable figure, Kimbrel coming in Saturday night boasted a career ERA of 1.79 and a park- and league-adjusted ERA+ of 225 — i.e., 125 percent better than the league-average mark. To put that latter stat into further context, the great Mariano Rivera had a career ERA+ of 205, the best ever among pitchers with at least 1,000 career innings. 

As for Kimbrel, the 2015 and 2016 seasons raised concerns that he might be in premature decline, but since the start of the 2017 season he’s been dominating hitters at peak level. It remains to be seen what Kimbrel’s actual decline phase will look like, but assuming it’s a normal one he’s looking very much like a future Hall of Famer. He’ll be a free agent this coming offseason. 


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