The Series Cynic: Braves can't handle closing time
By Ben BussardMonday August 9, 2010 01:20 pm EDT
The Braves (64-47) managed to take three out of four from the visiting San Francisco Giants (63-49) over the weekend and in doing so, improved their league-best home record to 39-15.
However, another mundane performance from Atlanta closer Billy Wagner prevented the Braves from the four-game sweep and a more comfortable three-game division lead.
Wagner hasn't been quite as dominant of late as he has blown three of his previous eight save opportunities following his "effort" in game two of the Giants series—a hit batsman on the first pitch of the ninth inning followed by a couple of fielding errors—which led to his sixth blown save of the 2010 season.
And don't forget about the ultimate game-winning home run Wagner allowed to former Braves heartthrob Jeff Francoeur during a tie ballgame against the Mets last week, which didn't count as a blown save but definitely raised some eyebrows.
I usually reserve these weekly columns for heavily opinionated sports banter that unintentionally infuriates most and enlightens few, but I wanted to pull a U-turn and shed some light on a story that everyone can enjoy.
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