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Kimbrel becomes 8th pitcher to record 400 saves

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Philadelphia Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel became the eighth pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves, locking down the ninth inning Friday against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park.

Kimbrel began his career with the Braves and recorded 186 of his 400 saves with the franchise.

Rank Closer Saves
1 Mariano Rivera 652
2 Trevor Hoffman 601
3 Lee Smith 478
4 Francisco Rodriguez 437
5 John Franco 424
6 Billy Wagner 422
7 Kenley Jansen* 401
8 Kimbrel 400

While the list is comprised of eight pitchers, Kimbrel is one of four relievers to record 400 saves in fewer than 800 appearances, joining Mariano Rivera (697), Trevor Hoffman (706), and Kenley Jansen (778).

Over 14 seasons - which includes stints with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres - Kimbrel has a 2.41 ERA and 2.40 FIP in 730 appearances.

Coincidentally, Kimbrel's MLB debut came as a member of the Braves against the Phillies, and he was relieved by Jesse Chavez. Chavez also recorded the final outs for the Braves on Friday.

"I'm happy it was here in Atlanta," Kimbrel said postgame, per The Associated Press. "I am happy the majority of my family was here to see it. Getting to take it in and enjoy it with them is great."

Kimbrel's monumental achievement started against the bottom of the Braves' order with the Phillies holding a two-run lead. After inducing flyouts from Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia, he issued a walk to Michael Harris II. The 34-year-old eight-time All-Star then got Ronald Acuna Jr. to ground out, sealing Philadelphia's 6-4 victory against its division rival.

Kimbrel won NL Rookie of the Year for the Braves in 2011, leading the NL in saves in each season for Atlanta spanning 2011-14. He was memorably traded to the Padres on Opening Day 2015 in a blockbuster that also sent B.J. Upton to San Diego.

Jansen joined the 400 club earlier this season while closing for the Red Sox. He's the only other active pitcher on the list. Like Kimbrel, Jansen recorded his milestone against the Braves.

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