Luis Avilan said it himself, his name is Luis Avilan, not Craig Kimbrel, or Mariano "Mo" Rivera. However, his ridiculous three month stretch during the Braves' 2013 campaign has been comparable to the aforementioned names. Until his most recent relief appearances, that is.
The Atlanta Braves' young southpaw found himself as the go-to left-handed relief pitcher in the Braves' bullpen after Eric O'Flaherty and Johnny Venters were lost early in the season to Tommy John Surgery. On a stretch that started in late May, Avilan had three months of spectacular pitching, offering the contributions the Braves needed from him.
Throughout his incredible stretch, ending in mid-August, Avilan allowed no earned runs in 35 relief appearances, and limited opponents to a miniscule .191 OBP.
However, in his last seven outings, Luis Avilan has allowed three earned runs, leading many to wonder if Avilan is beginning to feel fatigue in his first full major league season. Avilan was called up shortly after the All-Star Break in 2012, and has since posted a 1.42 ERA, with the lowest ERA among relief pitchers in that span.
With the Braves cruising towards the play-off's, they have all but clinched the NL East. While they still have home field advantage to play for, it would be no surprise for Avilan to be given a break from relief appearances in order to rest him for the play-offs.
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