Craig Kimbrel May 26, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (31) celebrates after his 400th career save against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Back where it all started, Craig Kimbrel joined an exclusive club.

On Friday night, the Philadelphia Phillies All-Star closer became the eighth pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves. It was only fitting that it happened against the team who drafted him in the third round of the 2008 MLB Draft and helped him turn into a perennial All-Star.

Kimbrel accomplished the milestone when he pitched a scoreless ninth inning during the Phillies’ 6-4 win over the Braves.

He joins Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith, Francisco Rodriguez, John Franco, Billy Wagner and Kenley Jansen as the only pitchers in the exclusive club, all of which have 400 career saves or more. According to, Kimbrel reached the mark in his 630th appearance and only Rivera and Hoffamn—both Hall of Famers—reached that mark in fewer games.

While he’s played for four teams in two years, the 34-year-old Kimbrel remains on track for a potential Hall-of-Fame career. Kimbrel has similar numbers to both Franco (424) and Wagner (422), neither of whom has been inducted into Cooperstown. Though, Wagner seems likely to join Rivera, Hoffman and Smith, sooner than later. At age 34, it appears Kimbrel still has a lot left in the tank and could surpass both Franco and Wagner by the season’s end.

The Phillies celebrated accordingly.

And judging by the reactions, so did their fans on social media:

[; photo from Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports]

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.