You want rock star moves? Don’t look to Mick Jagger. Set your eyes upon our all-star pitcher Craig Kimbrel, the ginger-bearded Red Sox player who’s causing quite a stir with his funky pitching pose. From a left angle, he appears to be practicing a Tai Chi pose. To the right, he mimics a praying mantis. Straight on… is he playing hangman? Hardly. He’s gearing up to toss out a four-seam fastball or curve ball which can reach 101 mph. Mick who?
Kimbrel has been lauded this season with not just being a great, but a historic (sub 2.00 ERA, among other records) relief pitcher. But the lad has swagger, too. Not that Kimbrel looks at it that way: “It started after a shoulder injury. It’s my pre-pitch setup,” Kimbrel says. Maybe so, but sports photographer Al Tielemans was hellbent on giving “Kimbreling” justice. “I was lying on the mound to get this shot. The clouds were thick and dramatic, and there was a darkened silhouette at Fenway,” Tielemans says. “This was one of my best days ever as a photographer.” As for Kimbrel, it’s all in a day’s work. “I’m just thinking about what pitch I want to throw.” Well, we are honored to watch you do it, Mr. Kimbrel.