It’s generally agreed that you need a closer who misses bats. Dan Kolb, who saved 39 with a 2.89 ERA in 2004 for the Brewers, was an exception. He struck out just 21 in in 57 IP that year and the Braves gambled that he could supplant Smoltzie, who was returning to the rotation.
The exception would end up proving the rule. I still remember one of Kolb’s final outings as closer, May 11 vs. the 8-22 Rockies. The Braves had scored 3 in the top of the 9th to take a 5-4 lead. Enter McVicker (after Beavis and Butthead’s nervous, inept principal). Lineout, HR, single, single, walk. Chris Reitsma entered with the bases loaded and gave up a game-ending single to Todd Greene.
Reitsma would replace Kolb as closer, with so-so results. Like McVicker, he didn’t miss many bats, striking out 42 in 73-1/3 IP. The job eventually ended up in Kyle Farnsworth’s incapable hands. He could strike you out, but, as seen in the season’s last game, he was not to be trusted.
The set-up corps didn’t fare much better. Remember Adam Bernero? John Foster? How ’bout Jim Brower? Don’t forget Roman Colon.
You may recognize them in their current incarnations: Cody Martin. Donnie Veal. Brandon Cunniff. Et al.