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Smoltz finds focus on & off the mound

ATLANTA (BP)–John Smoltz is a born-again pitcher in more ways than one, BPSports columnist Tim Ellsworth writes.

The Atlanta Braves hurler has been one of baseball’s most dependable starting pitchers for more than a decade. His 160-116 record and 3.35 career ERA attest to his effectiveness. He won the Cy Young Award in 1996, when he went 24-8.

And the bigger the game, the better Smoltz pitched. Since 1991, Smoltz is 12-4 with a 2.72 ERA in postseason games. With a season on the line, you could do a lot worse than Smoltz on the mound.

But following the 1999 season, Smoltz underwent Tommy John surgery to fix a bum elbow. He missed all of the 2000 season and his future in baseball was very much up in the air.

Read more of Ellsworth’s column at BPSports, www.bpsports.net.

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