The Atlanta Braves waited until the last minute to reveal a Game 3 starting pitcher against the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Elder will get the call at Citizens Bank Park.
Elder, who pitched like a borderline NL All-Star the first half of the season, came back down to earth after the break. In his final three starts of the regular season, Elder gave up 13 runs in three appearances against the Marlins, Phillies and then Cubs. This will be his first postseason start.
Snitker wouldn't commit to a Game 3 starter of sorts until Wednesday, when settling on Elder. He will likely have a short leash.
“Length-wise, we got some options,” Snitker said on Tuesday before the team boarded its flight. “It’s a lot of things [to consider]. If we want to do an opener, who are we going to follow up with if we decide to do that, [or] if we want to just go the traditional route. It’s a lot of different scenarios we’re looking at”
While Elder will start, A.J. Smith-Shawver will be just a phone call away, and can easily help get the Braves to the middle innings should their starting pitcher falter.
Atlanta Braves fans aren't too confident in Bryce Elder for Game 3
Braves fans had seen enough of Elder to end the regular season and are assuming the worst heading into Game 3.
Elder made the All-Star team for a reason, and with enough rest under his belt, Atlanta baseball fans shouldn't consider this an act of surrender.
Elder has a lot to prove, as he struggled mightily to end the season. However, he looked good in the Braves simulated games during the NLDS, which was a step in the right direction even if the games themselves don't count for much.
For now, Snitker and Atlanta put all their faith in Elder.