Craig Kimbrel: Inside the Mind of a Closing Pitcher
September 10, 2012
Learn about the mental mindset of a closing pitcher from 2011 NL Rookie of the Year and saves leader Craig Kimbrel.
About the Video
As a closing pitcher, it's important for Kimbrel not to stay entirely focused on the game from the first pitch. "Mentally, we play so many games, that would be exhausting," Kimbrel says. Around the seventh inning is when Kimbrel starts to focus more on his performance and what he needs to do once he gets in the game. He starts stretching around the seventh inning and awaits the call from the dugout to start throwing. In the innings leading up to the seventh, Kimbrel will scout the opposing team's hitters, fully aware that he may face the batters in the final inning. Kimbrel makes mental notes of the hitter's strengths and weaknesses as well as what they've done in their previous plate appearances. It's all part of his strategy as a closing pitcher.