The Atlanta Braves will go the traditional route for Game 3 after naming right-hander Bryce Elder as the team’s starter. Brian Snitker said Tuesday that the team considered a lot of options, such as whether to go with an opener or possibly rookie AJ Smith-Shawver. In the end, the elected to go with Elder, who started 31 games this season and pitched some big innings while Max Fried and Kyle Wright were out with injuries, but struggled down the stretch.
Elder was a big surprise early on and made the All-Star team for the first time in his career. He posted a 2.97 ERA and a 4.10 FIP in the first half of the season. He struggled down the stretch though with a 5.11 ERA and a 4.87 FIP over his final 68 2/3 innings. The Braves are hoping that the extra days off since the end of the season are enough to get him back on track.
Whether they are correct or not, expect a much quicker hook from manager Brian Snitker than normal. Smith-Shawver could also figure into the mix at some point and the bullpen is rested after Tuesday’s off day.