ATLANTA -- As he constructed his dominant ninth inning in Friday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals, Craig Kimbrel nearly became the first pitcher in Braves history to throw just nine pitches while striking out the only three batters he faced in a game.
Kimbrel's bid to throw the minimum nine pitches ended when Ian Desmond fouled an 0-2 fastball with two outs in the ninth inning. Desmond struck out one pitch later to end the impressive 10-pitch outing that included nothing but strikes.
"Once I threw six [pitches], I realized it, but my goal is just to get three outs," Kimbrel said. "Nine pitches would have been cool, but 10 is just as good."
The last Major League pitcher to throw just nine pitches while striking out the only three batters faced in a game was Philadelphia's Juan Perez against the Braves on July 8, 2011.
Instead of matching that unbreakable record, Kimbrel joined Billy Wagner as the only Braves' pitchers to throw just 10 pitches while striking out the only three batters faced in a game. Wagner, who served as Kimbrel's mentor two years ago, accomplished this when he notched his 400th save against the Tigers on June 25, 2010.