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Okay, so maybe that's debatable.

But one thing that's gone largely unremarked in the talking heads' gush over yesterday's marathon matchup between the Braves and Astros is the crucial role that Kyle Farnsworth played. The Braves brought him in yesterday in the 8th to protect a 6-1 lead. And as KF gave it up in consecutive innings to Berkman and Ausmus, Rick Sutcliffe (Sutty??) talked about him as though he'd never been to the playoffs before--the playoffs are a whole different experience, quoth Sutty.

Well, shame on Sutty. If his memory were a little longer, he might have recalled that Farnsworth got the call in Game 6 of the NLCS two years ago, when he was pitching for the Cubs. Yes, Prior got into the jam that eventually made Bartman a household name, but KF came in, faced 4 batters, walked 2 of them, retired only 1, and gave up 3 runs. For years, Farnsworth's best pitching came in the 7th inning--whenever the Cubs used him as a stopper or a closer, KF demonstrated decisively that he has all the talent in the world, but lacks the head to be able to use it. He's had wicked, wicked stuff for several years now, but as soon as the pressure's on, he's a house of cards.

Which means, most likely, that even had the Braves been able to pull yesterday's game out and win another, they would have been in a similar situation (with similar results) had they visited the house of Cards.

As I was watching the game yesterday, and they brought Farnsworth in, 5-run lead or no, I knew the Braves were in trouble.


Farnsworth joins a long (oh, so long) list of Braves relievers or wanna-be reilevers who've failed in big situations.

Mark Wohlers. Alejandro Pena. Charlie Liebrandt. Now Kyle Farnsworth. Lucky for him and us, he's a free agent.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on October 10, 2005 12:56 PM.

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