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On August 12, 1987, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves where he played on their Class AAA Richmond Braves.

The 1987 Tigers were in a three-team race, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East division lead; in need of pitching help, Detroit sent their 20-year-old prospect to the Braves for the 36-year-old veteran Doyle Alexander.

He also holds the Braves franchise record for career strikeouts (3,011), and the record for the most career games pitched for the Braves (708) since the club's move to Atlanta in 1966; from 2004 to 2014, he held the franchise record for career saves.

Smoltz left the Braves after 2008 and split his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Since retiring as a player, he has served as a color commentator and analyst on television.

He won the NL Cy Young Award with 26 of the 28 first-place votes.

Smoltz's effectiveness in 1997 was only slightly less than his Cy Young season, but frugal run support limited him to a 15–12 record.

An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was one of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series.Over his career, Smoltz threw a four-seam fastball that was clocked as high as 98 miles per hour, a strong, effective slider, and an 88–91mph split-finger fastball that he used as a strikeout pitch.He also used a curveball and change-up on occasion, and in 1999, he began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a screwball, though he rarely used either in game situations. His winning ways continued into the 1991 National League Championship Series.Smoltz had shaky postseason numbers, avoiding a decision despite a 6.60 ERA.But Smoltz and the Braves won the franchise's only World Series in Atlanta, thanks in great part to Maddux and Glavine, who had begun to overshadow Smoltz.

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