Kimbrel pitched in two games against the Brewers over the weekend, and looked much better than before. He then came in for the save in the final game of the Cardinals series.
On Friday, he faced four batters, striking out two, walking one. On Sunday, he faced three batters, striking out two. One baserunner in two appearances and zero earned runs is a very welcome change of pace. Then Wednesday night, Kimbrel stuck out all three batters in route to a save.
The radar gun was hitting 96 consistently on the fastball and 85 on the curve. Still not great velocity, but his control and placement had drastically improved. An important note is that I didn't observe any Kimbrel fastballs under 95 mph. It seems like he's stretching out nicely. In his most recent appearance, we saw a few 99 mph hits, so he's definitely improving.
On Sunday's game, he threw the fastball very effectively. He kept it high, and got two strikeouts. He didn't throw as many curves, but threw them effectively. There was little trace, if any, of his early season wildness.
Going back to my tipping article, I had a really hard time guessing pitches. His grips for both the fastball and the curve seemed very similar, making it hard to visually deduce. He did almost exclusively throw the curve when ahead in the count, but hit his spots to keep the hitters off balance.
Nice work Kimbrel!