Kimbrel first to open with three 40-save seasons

Kimbrel first to open with three 40-save seasons

ST. LOUIS -- Like in his first two full Major League seasons, Craig Kimbrel has once again reached the 40-saves mark. But his latest save has put him in uncharted waters.

Kimbrel notched his 40th save during Wednesday's win over the Mets. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kimbrel is the only pitcher in Major League history to record at least 40 saves in three consecutive seasons, starting with his rookie season.

"I'm not really worried about my numbers," Kimbrel said. "I'm just worried about winning. I guess that is one of the reasons I've had success. I'm not wrapped up in what I've done or anything like that. I'm wrapped up in trying to help the team win and get to our final goal, which is to win the World Series."

Kimbrel also now joins John Smoltz as the only pitchers in Braves history to have three 40-save seasons. Kimbrel entered Thursday having converted 30 consecutive save appearances dating back to May 9. The 25-year-old closer has allowed one earned run and limited opponents to a .153 batting average in 38 appearances during this span.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.