Braves’ Brian Snitker on decision to start Sean Newcomb in Game 3 of NLDS

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Brian Snitker on starting Sean Newcomb in Game 3 of NLDS

- Now, we, just recently as, I don't know, a couple of hours ago-- I talked to Alex. We had discussed other options after the game last night, and we all got together this afternoon. And we're going to, you know, the situation-- it's kind of dire right now. We need a win, and-- not that Gaus doesn't give us that opportunity, but we just-- we like how Nuke matches up with him and the success that he's had against the Dodgers this year. So we're going to let Nuke get the thing off the ground.

And I-- you know, I talked to Kevin, and he, you know, was like whatever we got to do. And I talked to Nuke, and Nuke sounded really excited. I mean, he was-- felt good about it. And I told him that we need you to get this thing off the ground. You don't need to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning with the strike left or whatever. I mean, we just, you know, want to get this thing flying and, you know, be all hands on deck.

MODERATOR: Jessie, further back left.

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE]. Yesterday you had the opportunity in the first inning to really get something going with Acuña getting that double, moving over to third. Is that an important key for you guys in the next game, getting on the board early?

- Yeah, I think it was yesterday. So you know, it felt really good. That first pitch was rattled around in the gap there, and you know, Freddy smoked one, too.

But I-- and I think that would have been a big lift for us, just to get even a one-run lead yesterday. So it's-- yeah, we just want to score. I mean, you know, I think if we could come out early and put something on the board, that would be a big lift for all of us.

MODERATOR: Ken, right, towards the center.

REPORTER: Brian, what might you do with Gausman tomorrow?

- Well, I will-- he'll be in the bullpen and be available as well. You know, everybody really. I'm not going to pitch Folty tomorrow, but you know, all the other guys will be available.

MODERATOR: Back to Mark.

REPORTER: You said last night you may make some changes to the lineup. What are you thinking about there?

- Well, you know, like I said, it's going to be the same guys. I mean, we're-- that's-- again, I reiterate, like, it's we are what we are. I'll probably bump Ender back up to two, where, you know, we had him against right-handers, you know, the last three weeks or whatever it was.

And then, you know, it's, you know, you're running that string of lefties, but you know, historically and all year, them guys have swung the bat well off left-handers. So-- but it's just, you know, I say, it's not that big a-- big a difference, like I say, because we are who we are. And there's not a lot of options, but you know, that's one that I'll probably do.

MODERATOR: Fifth row, toward the left.

REPORTER: Just wondering with-- you'll have two days between-- you know, before game three. What's the message? Do you change it, you know--

- Yeah, I don't-- you know, they're trying. I mean, these guys want to do, you know, so well, and that's what happens in offensive slumps like this. Team thinks everybody wants to be the guy. Everybody wants-- you know, and they put so much pressure on themselves.

When you're hitting, and everything's flowing, and you get the line moving, guys are relaxed. They're not feeling that. When you go in-- you know, post-season, regular season, we went through this, and guys just-- they try so hard and want to be the guy, all of them.

And so, you know, it's one of those things. We just have to relax and play our game. I mean, and easier said than done, especially when you're facing the quality of pitching that we are, you know, or just-- we faced two guys that were just so good and never missed spots, never made a mistake.

And so, you know, it's-- they get it. They know. I don't know that I have to tell them any more about the situation that we're in. And we're just in-- you know, we got to win tomorrow. That's it.

We don't have to think about it. We don't have to win three in a row. We've got to win one in a row. Right now, that's all we got to do, and again, as I've said all year, the most important game we're going to play is today's, and that's been like that for six and a half months. So I think it's just that we've got to win one in a row right now is all we've got to do.

MODERATOR: Back to Ken.

REPORTER: Brian, how exactly did you tell Newcomb? Was it on the plane? Was it a phonecall?

- No, I-- you know what? I mentioned it to him on the plane as-- when we were on the way, just as something that we were discussing. I didn't want to just drop it on him. And then I called him this afternoon, after Alex and I talked, and I called Kevin, and the first calls were to Kevin and to Nuke.

And like I say, Nuke was-- you know, Kevin gets it. He's a-- I mean, he's about as quality a guy as you're going to come across. And Nuke, like I say, I could tell, just on the phone, that he was excited and looking forward to it.

REPORTER: You mentioned Ryu and Kershaw, how good they were just hitting their spots. You don't really get a break with Beuller coming in for game three. Is there something you'd want to see more from your guys' ABs, or is it just, you've been tipping your cap--

- No, I mean, it's-- you know, we've-- other-- you know, and I think Ryu had a little bit to do with-- you know, we were a very aggressive 0-0 team. And I think he had a lot to do with that, just how he was spotting it up and changing speeds and the variety, and then you know, with the game plan yesterday, we just got a jump on Kershaw because he, you know, was throwing a lot of first pitch fastballs. And you know, it didn't happen.

I mean, he was just making-- again, making pitches and spotting it up, just unbelievable also. So I just think with-- you know what, I think, in this situation, we got to be aggressive. We've got to take the safety off and start firing, is the best thing that we can do.

MODERATOR: Anybody else? Back to Mark.

REPORTER: The Dodgers struggled against lefties throughout, you know, the first four months and had just gotten Machado when Newcomb threw that gym there. Obviously, once they got Turner back and some of the other guys they added, the numbers improved. What stands out, like when you look at why Newcomb's a good match-up? Was there anything other than just his match-ups against--

- I think just the match-ups against him. Like you say, they got really better against lefties. I would imagine-- I haven't-- didn't look, but you know, when they got Machado and then Turner comes back in the lineup, and-- but it's just-- I think more so, just Nuke's had some success against them.

I, mean you know, the start here obviously, the two innings in relief, were really good, were strong. It's kind of like he's throwing better recently than he had all September, and I think that's-- the big factor is, like, where, you know, he's in a-- the way he's throwing right now is kind of how we remembered in stretches all year. So I think that had a lot to do with it.

REPORTER: Sean, when did you find out.