Kimbrel looks to duplicate dominating 2012 season - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Kimbrel looks to duplicate dominating 2012 season

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By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Craig Kimbrel has a tough encore in 2013.

After all, he's coming off 1 of the most dominant seasons for a closer in baseball history.

Kimbrel had 42 saves for the Atlanta Braves, but that only tells part of the story. His ERA was a microscopic 1.01. He allowed just 27 hits in 62 2-3 innings. Most astonishing, he had 116 strikeouts - fanning more than half of the 231 batters he faced.

The right-hander can blow batters away with a 100 mph fastball. When Kimbrel mixes in a knee-bending slider - which is harder than most pitchers' fastballs - well, it just doesn't seem fair. He's also improved his control, issuing only 14 walks last season.

Kimbrel leaves Sunday to close for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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