Craig Kimbrel Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (31) starts his prepare pitch routine against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning on June 15, 2023, at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The phrase “ya never know what you’re going to see at the ballpark,” has never been more true during the 2023 MLB season. And for better or worse, that’s mainly due to the enforcement of new rules like the pitch clock. Players are very aware of the new rules, and while everybody isn’t a fan of the pitch clock, players have done their best to adapt.

And some have had an easier time adapting than others. That didn’t appear to be the case with Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel, well at least on Thursday.

In the ninth inning of Philadelphia’s 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kimbrel was called for three pitch timer violations. All three violations came with two strikes, as Kimbrel was trying to hold the ball until the very last moment. Whatever he was trying to do, it worked. Kimbrel went three up, three down with three timer violations.

While he did help some of the Diamondback hitters get back in their respective counts, Arizona went down in order in that half-inning. This allowed the Phillies to clinch their fourth series win in a row, as they took three out of four games from a first-place team on the road.

Perhaps Kimbrel is still working out some kinks. In 29 games this season, the Phillies closer has a 5-1 record with 10 saves and a 4.67 ERA across 27 innings. It hasn’t been all bad for Kimbrel, as he joined an exclusive club earlier this season. The 35-year-old became the eighth pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves. 

Those in the world of Major League Baseball reacted to Kimbrel’s wild ninth inning on social media:

Perhaps Kimbrel will be a bit quicker to the plate during his next outing.

[Jomboy Media on Twitter; photo from Rob Schumacher/The Republic/USA Today Network]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.