This is baseball 2017 and not baseball. circa 1948. Pitchers are not expected to finish what they start and closers become wealthy thanks to a philosophical change in the dynamics of baseball. Mariano Rivera was the last closer to win a World Series MVP, but maybe Craig Kimbrel can do just that.
Mo won his award with 4.2 innings of three strikeout pitching in 1999. A win and two saves for Rivera and the prestigious award. Kimbrel is having an amazing season with a 1.8 BB/9 against a 5.1 BB/9 in 2016. Kimbrel has a career high 16.8 K/9 and when his dinky curve is working with his moving fastball no one hitting has a chance.
Kimbrel does have a postseason record pitching for the Atlanta Braves and the Red Sox. Kimbrel’s performance mirrors what you see in the regular season as he has tossed eight innings allowing one earned run and fanning 13. That should be the template for what to expect in the playoffs.
Where Kimbrel has issues is in non-save situations, but in the playoffs, the games are close and rarely would you expect Kimbrel to make an appearance with nothing on the line. When Kimbrel smells a save the lights are ready to go out for the opposition and Kimbrel could cut through the playoffs like locust would a wheat field.