Braves closer Kimbrel wins NL Rookie of the Year

Braves closer Kimbrel wins NL Rookie of the Year
November 14, 2011, 11:28 pm
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Atlanta Braves closer CraigKimbrel became the 2011 NL Rookie of the Year on Monday, following a unanimousvote. Kimbrel earned all 32 first-place votes in balloting by theBaseball Writers' Association of America. Kimbrel outpointed Braves teammate FreddieFreeman.
Kimbrel, 23, made 38 straight appearances in midseasonwithout allowing a run, however he blew his eighth save in the final game ofthe season when he gave up the tying run in the ninth inning against Philadelphia. The Phillies went on to win, and it cost Atlantaa spot in a one-game playoff against St. Louis for the wild-card slot. In 79 games, Kimbrel compiled a 4-3 record with a 2.10ERA and set the major league record for saves by a rookie with 46. Thehard-throwing righty struck out 146 batters over 77 innings. The closer was the seventh Braves player to win the awardthat began in 1947, and first since RafaelFurcal in 2000. The Associated Press contributed to this report