3 Brian Snitker mistakes Braves couldn't afford vs Phillies

Brian Snitker mismanaged the Atlanta Braves in several ways, leading to a devastating Game 3 loss that moved the Braves within one game of elimination.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Starting Bryce Elder

This misstep I am most sympathetic for. Brian Snitker could have started Elder or gone with a bullpen game. There were murmurs he could have also started AJ Smith-Shawver in his place.

Briefly, it looked as if the Braves had made a possible series-winning move, with Elder retiring his first six batters. The TBS broadcast pointed out that the batter's eye had a tough auburn sunlight glaze on it that made it tough to pick up pitch movement. Batters on both sides didn't register a hit in the first two innings.

Seemingly, as soon as that sun went down and the batter's eye was all green, Elder was figured out. To start the third, Nick Castellanos hit a home run. From then on out, the Phillies appeared in command.

So, where was the mistake if there wasn't a good option here for Snitker? Bullpen game. Elder held his own for a few innings -- unknown how much the batter's eye played into that or not -- but should have been subbed out early. Elder had never played a postseason game before, and expecting him to be the guy in this one for six innings wasn't fair.

A bullpen game would have given the Phils offense multiple different looks and made the pitching more dyanmic, making up for the sheer lack of skill and experience on a night like this one.

Snitker was forced into that bullpen game, anyway, but had he been more intentional about it, momentum may not have gotten as far away from Atlanta as it did in Game 3. Chalk this up, in part, to Alex Anthopoulos as well.


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