As a Braves fan, if you started to feel comfortable up 2-0, the Dodgers reminded you quickly that the series was far from over. With the Braves up 2-0 and Kyle Wright toeing the rubber, who has been fantastic over his last five starts, there was a good chance for them to put the series to bed Wednesday night (only one team has come back from 3-0 in a series — the 2004 Red Sox). However, the Dodgers had other ideas.
It’s crazy to think that with one down in the top of the first, Max Muncy grounded out for the second out of the inning. From there, the Dodgers exploded for ten more runs before the Braves even had a chance to step into the batter’s box.
From an outsider’s perspective, it’s difficult not to think back to Game 5 of the NLDS last year, except it was technically even worse. The Dodgers jumped on the Braves 11-0, essentially ending the game before it even started. Atlanta’s offense is about as good as it gets, but so is Los Angeles’, and Brian Snitker quickly forfeited the game by subbing out his best players — Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña.
Was it embarrassing? Absolutely. Is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. Had you told Snitker that he would be up on the Dodgers 2-1 after three games, he would have taken it in a heartbeat. However, should Snitker re-evaluate his thought process going into Game 4… without a doubt.
I was a bit surprised Snitker was so hasty to announce a Game 4 starter. I thought he would at least wait to see how Game 3 turned out before doing so. However, I understand why he felt confident enough to go with Wilson, considering his team was up 2-0. Still, after tonight, there’s time to re-consider.
Wilson has some talent… but so does Kyle Wright. There’s no way — after what we saw tonight — that Snitker should feel obligated to go with Wilson. There’s a chance that one day Wilson will figure it out, but he certainly has not yet, and his one-pitch repertoire has very little chance of success against the Dodgers.
As a manager, I understand there’s probably an issue with going back on your word. However, that goes out the window when you’re chasing the National League pennant. Because the Braves were so uncompetitive in Game 3, they were able to save all of their quality relievers. Everyone that matters should be available for Game 4.
Tyler Matzek, who has been outstanding for the Braves the entire season, but especially in the playoffs, is the perfect option to start Game 4. He has plenty of experience pitching multiple innings, and the Dodgers are much worse against lefties than they are righties. After that, the Braves have many relievers they can turn to the rest of the way. To me, this is a no brainer, and if Snitker decides otherwise and Wilson struggles, he should be judged accordingly.
Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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