Braves blow it before the playoffs this time -, GA News Weather & Sports

Braves blow it before the playoffs this time

ATLANTA (AP) - A franchise known for its postseason flops switched to fast-forward this time.

The Atlanta Braves went ahead and blew it before the playoffs.

Joining the Boston Red Sox in a pair of unprecedented September flops, the Braves spent Thursday cleaning out their lockers rather than packing for an NL division series that seemed all but certain just a few weeks ago.

Atlanta had a 10½-game lead on St. Louis in late August. The margin was still 8½ games the first week of September. But the pitching faded, and the offense that had been a problem all year was finally exposed.

No wonder reliever Jonny Venters says he didn't get much sleep after the dramatic final game, a 13-inning loss to Philadelphia that ended the season.

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