Most of the time, if one manages to get their name in the record books, it's a feat that's certainly worth commending and admiring by all. But unfortunately, in the case of Philadelphia Phillies reliever Craig Kimbrel, his recent sub-par performance has landed him in the books for all the wrong reasons.
This past Thursday in Game 3 of the NLCS, Kimbrel gave up the game-winning run and took the loss in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2-1 comeback win over the Phillies. The following night, in Game 4 of the NLCS, Kimbrel succumbed to the pressure again in the eighth inning as he allowed the Diamondbacks to come all the way back and tie the game. He ultimately took the loss as José Alvarado would end up allowing one of Kimbrel’s inherited runners to score the game-winning run.
In taking those two losses, Kimbrel unexpectedly made Phillies playoff history by becoming the first-ever Phillies reliever to lose back-to-back games in the postseason, per John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
It also put him partly in the same territory as former Phillies closer Mitch Williams. Williams was the first Phillies reliever to lose in back-to-back "appearances." He lost both Game 4 and Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, including the series-ending walk-off home run by the Blue Jays' Joe Carter, in a postseason moment that will be forever etched in everyone's memory.
Hopefully, unlike Williams, who didn’t have a chance to redeem himself with his season ending in the process, Kimbrel will bounce back in his next appearance and help the Phillies put a stamp on their ticket to the World Series for the second consecutive year.
He'll definitely want to avoid hitting the record books once again in becoming the first Phillies reliever ever to suffer a loss in three straight appearances in a postseason. All he really needs are some big-time saves for the ballclub to help himself and the Phillies faithful regain some confidence.
If the Phillies have the ultimate success and win the World Series, his terrible record will most likely be forgotten.