You may not like Brian Snitker. Personally, I believe he’s a fantastic clubhouse manager, which is why this team continues to overachieve during the regular season. Do I think he’s a mad scientist with his in-game decisions? Absolutely not. But if you blame Snit for the Braves’ postseason blunders this year, you’re nothing more than a hater.
One of the biggest arguments for this Snitker haters is how the Braves handled the postseason rotation. Ultimately, they decided to pitch Mike Soroka, who was undoubtedly Atlanta’s best pitcher the entire season, in Game 3 instead of in Games 1 or 2. Had they pitched Soroka earlier in the series; he would have been available to start for the winner take all Game 5.
Of course, not many people were barking about it before the series when the decision was made. The fact of the matter is both Keuchel and Folty had actually been much better of late than Soroka. Soroka is also a rookie, and his road numbers were heads and shoulders better than his home numbers. Not to mention, Game 3 is many times the most crucial game of a five-game series. There was not a better option for the Braves in that spot than Soroka, which is why they were able to take a 2-1 series lead.
Folty also threw a gem in Game 2 and probably deserved the start in Game 5. Sure, in hindsight, things didn’t work out, but Snitker made the correct decisions, and he told the media he had “no regrets” regarding his postseason rotation.
Snit said he has no regrets about how rotation was handled in NLDS.
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) October 10, 2019
I don’t have any problem with how Snit handled the rotation, and he definitely was not the reason the Braves lost their tenth straight postseason series. That is on the players, who faltered in the most significant moments of the series. I thought Snit’s worst decision was pinch-hitting Folty, up only a run, with two outs and a runner on first, after seven innings, when he was at 80 pitches in a must-win game. If you remember correctly, that decision worked out pretty well. Adam Duvall homered, and the Braves cruised to victory. The players can only blame themselves for this one.