PHILADELPHIA -- As Craig Kimbrel navigated his way through a stressful ninth inning during Saturday night's 4-2 win over the Phillies, he was unaware of the fact that a group of fans behind the plate at Citizens Bank Park were mimicking his unique pre-delivery stance.
Kimbrel did not learn about the humorous actions until backup catcher Gerald Laird informed him in the clubhouse after the game. Chris Johnson then provided images of the fans, who hunched and let their left arms hang in front of them, just like the dominant Braves closer does before throwing a pitch.
"It was quite funny after the fact," Kimbrel said. "I'm actually glad I didn't see it while they were doing it because I might have laughed myself out there on the mound."
The tension of the ninth inning was anything but funny to Kimbrel, who escaped unscathed after an Andrelton Simmons error gave the Phillies two on with none out. After Darin Ruf drew a two-out walk to load the bases, Kimbrel notched his 46th save when Simmons lunged to his right to snare Ben Revere's liner.
All the while, fans behind the plate were doing what has become known as "Kimbreling."
"I was locked in to doing what I was supposed to do," Kimbrel said. "But yeah, that was actually kind of funny."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.