Craig Kimbrel struggles in Cubs season debut, still gets hold
Craig Kimbrel had some struggles in his season debut for the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Kimbrel entered the Cubs’ 8-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning looking to close things out. He walked the first batter he faced, got a groundout, and then loaded the bases with two more walks. Then he hit Freddy Galvis to bring in a run and walked Tyler Stephenson to make it a one-run game.
Kimbrel was pulled after putting on five of the six batters he faced and throwing just 13 strikes in 34 pitches. Jeremy Jeffress then came in to get the final two outs to end the game. Amazingly, Kimbrel still got credit for a hold despite his outing.
The poor season debut is a continuation of last year’s issues for Kimbrel. He went 0-4 with a 6.53 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 23 appearances last season.
Kimbrel signed a 3-year, $43 million deal with the Cubs in June last year and has not lived up to his status as one of the top closers in the game.