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Both starters pitched shutout ball for seven innings, before Smoltz was removed from the 0–0 game during a Twins threat in the eighth.

Atlanta reliever Mike Stanton pitched out of the jam, getting Smoltz off the hook, and Morris eventually pitched a 10-inning complete game victory.

The next season, 1996, was the best of Smoltz's career.

He went 24–8 with a 2.94 ERA and 276 strikeouts, including winning a franchise-record 14 straight decisions from April 9 to June 19.

Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) in 41 career postseason games, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series; Andy Pettitte later broke his record for career postseason wins.

Smoltz led the NL in wins, winning percentage, strikeouts and innings pitched twice each, and his NL total of 3,051 strikeouts ranked fifth in league history when he retired.

In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season.

An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part 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.

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.

Smoltz also received a Silver Slugger Award for his batting.

Smoltz continued to post excellent statistics in 19, but he was spending significant time on the disabled list and missed about a quarter of his starts.

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He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24–8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972.