3. Bullpen Decisions
Perhaps the most intruiging moves Brian Snitker made during the NLDS was the arms he used in certain situations. The biggest one that comes to mind was in Game 3. Bryce Elder was visibly struggling and had gotten himself in a jam in the third inning.
After giving up a game-tying homerun earlier in the frame, Elder faced Bryce Harper with two runners on. While it may had been just the third inning, it felt like the game was on the line. When Phillies manager felt this way in Game 1 of the series, he pulled his starter, Ranger Suarez from the contest and wound up victorious thanks to his bullpen. Brian Snitker had a different strategy.
Elder went on to face Harper and surrendered a long three run home run that set the stage for an eventual 10-2 rout. The first question from this situation is why Elder was allowed to face Bryce Harper to begin with when Brad Hand was in the bullpen who the Braves acquired to face left-handed batters in big moments. It doesn't stop there.
After the Harper blast, Michael Tonkin, arguably the Braves worst reliever on the NLDS roster entered the game. At this point, it felt like Brian Snitker had already conceded the game. This would have been a perfect situation to just throw all arms for an inning in hopes to keep the offense within striking distance.
Instead, Tonkin went on the allow two more runs in the inning, making the score 6-1 in a hostile enviornment with a more than struggling Braves offense.
We may question decisions of MLB managers but at the end of the day, Braves fans should still put their trust in Brian Snitker. He has led this club to six straight division titles and a World Series championship. It is much easier to say what the right decision was in a scenario after we see the negative results. There is a reason is the man holding the lineup card.