October 9th, 2005: The Atlanta Braves lose 7-6 (in 18 innings) in Game 4 of the NLDS to the Astros. The Braves led 6-1 going into the 8th inning. Kyle Farnsworth allowed a grand slam in the 8th, and finished off his performance by giving up the tying run in the 9th. After another grueling 9 innings, the game ended on a walk-off home run to the Astros’ Chris Burke. The Braves would go on to be eliminated.
October 11th, 2010: The Atlanta Braves lose Game 4 of the NLDS to the Giants, 3-2, and are eliminated. The loss comes after a far tougher loss in Game 3 in which Brooks Conrad commits 3 “crucial”errors and the Braves lose 3-2. The Braves fade down the stretch in this game and in the series, unable to mount a comeback.
September 28th, 2011: The Atlanta Braves lose the final regular game of the season, 4-3 in 13 innings to the rival Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves lead 3-2 in the 9th inning and are two outs away from victory before the game is tied on a sac fly by Chase Utley, against overused (yet still great) young closer Craig Kimbrel. The team is eliminated from the playoffs, as the Cardinals win their game against the Astros. During September, the Braves slowly lose an 8 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals, within the span of only one month. The Cardinals advance to the NLDS. The Braves go home.
I don’t use these examples as a way to complain about the Braves, or various players. I love Brooks Conrad. I blame nothing on him. The “Woe is me!” attitude doesn’t work too well for a team that’s frequently competitive on a year-to-year basis like the Braves. But it still illustrates the struggles the Braves have frequently faced. They’re often unable to stay firm in closing, crucial situations or periods of time. And I don’t know the reason. But it hurts, and that’s all I feel tonight.