As Walden compiled a 2.47 ERA in the 46 appearances he made before straining his groin muscle last August, he looked as dominant as he had in 2011, when he recorded 32 saves for the Angels. After the strain sidelined the right-handed reliever for three weeks, he was never the same.
Walden allowed at least two runs in three of his final four appearances, but still gained a surprising spot on Atlanta's postseason roster. In the two appearances he made during the National League Division Series against the Dodgers, he allowed four earned runs while logging just 2 2/3 innings.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.