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bullpen-becomes-braves-undoing-2 | October | 2005 Articles

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Bullpen becomes Braves undoing

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In Game 3, Jorge Sosa left trailing by just 1 run. The bullpen gave up 4 runs, and the Braves lost by that 4 run margin, 7-3. Game 4 saw Adam LaRoche hit an early grand slam and a great outing by Tim Hudson. But with a 6-1 lead, Kyle Farnsworth, who had been absolutely fantastic ever since becoming a Brave, couldn't locate his pitches. He continuously fell behind in the count, and the defense didn't help. In a predictable fastball situation, Lance Berkman hit a grand slam to cut it to 6-5. Then, with the Braves one out from forcing a Game 5, Brad freaking Ausmus hit a solo homer to left-center to tie it. After several tactical moves by Astros manager Phil Garner, the Astros didn't have enough of an offense to muster any rallies in extra innings. Meanwhile, the Braves squandered numerous opportunities to retake the lead. Inning after inning passed. After Reitsma, Thomson, and Brower combined for 7 scoreless innings, Joey Devine threw another scoreless inning. But after Roger Clemens struck out to lead off the bottom of the 18th, Chris Burke hit a 2-0 pitch just over the left field scoreboard to win the game and the series for the Astros. The game was the longest postseason game ever. It's probably the best game in Astros history. The Braves had a fine 2005 season. They have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of with a 14th straight division championship. The future looks as bright as ever. And there are only two significant free agents: Rafael Furcal and Kyle Farnsworth. Will the Braves have enough in their budget to bring either of them back? What trades can John Scheurholz pull off to improve the team? Regardless of what happens, the Braves look great for 2006.
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