Braves couldn't risk using Brooks Conrad against Giants in Game 4
This has been an incredibly tight series. All three games have been decided by one run. The last two have seen the decisive run scored in the victor's last at-bat. Game 2 went into extra innings, and if Major League Baseball had expanded instant replay, Game 1 might still be going on, as the only runner to score in the entire game was thrown out stealing second earlier in that inning but was ruled safe.
If we've learned anything from the first three games of the series it's that, unless
Conrad may not actually be as inept a fielder as he has appeared to be over the last week, but fielding slumps are as real as hitting slumps, and if all of these errors weren't in his head Sunday morning, after Game 3, they absolutely are now. Conrad, who slugged .487 this season, is in the Braves' lineup for his bat, and when he hit .350/.381/.650 over the final six games of the regular season, the four errors he made in those games were acceptable. In this series, however, he has reached base just once, on a single, in 10 plate appearances while striking out four times and has made another four errors. Something has to give.
The Braves' depleted roster doesn't offer an obvious replacement, but
To that end, rather than take a chance on rookie right-hander
Short rest is not big thing for Lowe. His final start of the regular season came on three days' rest and saw him hold the Marlins to one run over 5 2/3 innings while striking out nine against just one walk. With the Dodgers in 2008, he started Game 4 of the NLCS on short rest and held the powerful Phillies to two runs over five innings, and in the Red Sox's historic comeback in the 2004 ALCS, he started Game 7 on
As for the 21-year-old rookie lefty opposing the 37-year-old veteran righty,