Craig Kimbrel made his MLB debut for the Braves on May 7th, 2010, at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies. His first strikeout was Raul Ibanez. The first hit he allowed was to Jayson Werth. Fast forward 13 years, and Kimbrel has now collected save number 400 as a member of the Phillies in Atlanta, locking down an important 6-4 win. Kimbrel is now just the eighth player in MLB history to accumulate at least 400 career saves.
With a fastball that touched 97 MPH, Kimbrel got Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia to fly out before walking Michael Harris II. That brought Ronald Acuña Jr. to the plate as the tying run. The count ran full before Kimbrel was able to get Acuña to ground out on a 95 MPH fastball and put himself in the history books.
Save No. 400 in the books pic.twitter.com/EFWNhaBGw1— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 27, 2023
Kimbrel ended a strong night for Phillies pitching that was started by Taijuan Walker. Walker gave Philadelphia a boost with a second straight strong start, this time going 6.2 innings while allowing three runs against a top offense. He was hit hard and only had one strikeout, but Walker was able to limit the damage and allow the Phillies offense to come alive.
Taijuan Walker has allowed way too much hard contact tonight— Oakland As Next Stadium Proposal (@AnthonyEsbensen) May 27, 2023
AEV of 90.7 and a hard hit rate of 53.8%
just 1 strikeout as well
Bryson Stott set the table early and often for Philadelphia, reaching base four times with two hits and two walks along with three stolen bases. Nick Castellanos opened the scoring with a two-run triple in the second with two outs that narrowly missed being a home run. Stott now has 18 multi-hit games this season while Castellanos has 19 such games. Coming into tonight, they were tied for second and third most respectively across all of baseball.
Casty triple, we like that v much pic.twitter.com/TShpHzhxl3— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 27, 2023
Georgia native Brandon Marsh recaptured the lead for the Phillies in the sixth after a two-run home run by Harris II gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead. Marsh stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and sliced a single the opposite way to put the Phillies on top 4-3.
They would add two more runs in the seventh courtesy of an RBI double by Trea Turner and a sacrifice fly from Bryce Harper after Turner advanced on a wild pitch. Philadelphia forced Atlanta reliever Lucas Luetge to throw 42 pitches in an inning that lasted over 20 minutes. The at bat from Turner was arguably his best of the season, as he saw eight pitches and did not swing wildly before lining a ball into the opposite field gap.
Good at-bat for Turner. He's been laying off pitches outside of the zone tonight, and was rewarded here with an RBI hit off of Luetge (a lefty, no less). pic.twitter.com/gLOBYEeT4s— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) May 27, 2023
Matt Strahm entered into a slight jam in the seventh with runners on first and second with two outs and Matt Olson at the plate. Strahm got him to ground out to end the threat but did allow a solo home run in the eighth to Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna had a major baserunning blunder earlier in the game that was a massive boost for Walker. With runners on second and third with no outs in a scoreless game in the bottom of the second, Ozzie Albies hit a ground ball to Alec Bohm at first base. Bohm tagged first before throwing to third where Josh Harrison was able to run down Ozuna, who for some reason did not run on contact and was also far off the bag. Harrison tagged him for a double play that effectively killed the inning. Castellanos put the Phillies on the board in the next half inning off Braves starter Jared Shuster.
The Phillies and Braves will be back in action tomorrow at 4:10 PM. Zack Wheeler (3-4, 4.11 ERA) goes against Charlie Morton (5-4, 3.61 ERA).