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Before Brian met the media at CitiField last weekend, he sang the praises of the Broadway hit Beautiful.

"I had no idea that Carole King was responsible for so many hits," said the Atlanta Braves manager, who saw the show on a rotunday in New York last week.

With a gleam in his eyes, the 64-year-old manager rattled the names of James Taylor and The Shirelles. He also admitted that some of his players even heard of it – or heard the songs popularized by The Four Seasons at Jersey Boys, a show that Snitker caught in January when he came to New York to collect his 2018 Manager of the Year award .

Thanks to the retirement of Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost this week plus the resignation of Joe Maddon, Snitker is the oldest manager in the major competitions, but he clearly enjoys the Fountain of Youth he discovered in Atlanta.

The Baby Braves surprised by jumping from 90 losses to 90 wins last year and retained their crown with 97 wins, second in the National League only for the Los Angeles Dodgers, in 2019.

They have not won a series after the season or a pennant since 1999, but Snitker insists that his charges are ready.

"It was good that they went through it and experienced the play-off last year," he said. “It made them more hungry and more self-assured. They know what they can do and what they are capable of. "

Health should be a key factor, with lead-off man Ronald Acuna Jr. who returns from a mild groin attempt and co-slugger Freddie Freeman fights a painful elbow that may need surgical repair this winter.

"Ronald is feeling well," Snitker reported. "He wanted to play on Sunday, but he was not so hopeful that he will be really good on Thursday. He can still hit, he just can't get there and run or get a good break on balls."

Acuna, 21, fell three steals shortly for a 40/40 season, but still led the competition in stolen bases, led the team with 41 home runs and formed a powerful 1-2-hit with close friend Ozzie Albies at the top of the Atlanta row.

They are great table makers for Freeman and cleaner Josh Donaldson; Acuna led the competition in points while Albies finished first in hits.

"Freddie feels great," the manager said. “That was a good thing we did, keeping him out of the (two-game) Kansas City series and having him treated. It's very common for baseball players – you get hit in the wrong place, it's pretty painful. Sometimes it gets stuck and you have to pay attention and go back a bit. & # 39;

Freeman ended with career spikes in both home runs (38) and runs batted in (121) but failed to go deep since September 1, when he hit a few.

In contrast to the season-opening series in Philadelphia, when injured-ridden Braves rookies Bryce Wilson and Kyle Wright needed to start two of the first three games in Philadephia, Snitker has confidence in his pitching staff. He just doesn't know who starts when, although Rookie of the Year contender Mike Soroka, with big road numbers, will start Division Series Game 3 in St. Louis Sunday.

"When we started the year, most of our rotation was injured," he said. "We started a lot of young boys who didn't have many innings in the first series. It took us a while to get this thing off the ground and get the rotation when we got boys back from injuries, lack of spring training and the whole thing, we kept things together and kept our heads above water. & # 39;

Soroka, scheduled for Game 3, could return in relief 5, Snitker said, but the manager is not sure if he will use three or four starters.

Chances are that left-handed veteran Dallas Keuchel, a sinkerball player with World Series experience, will open the series on Thursday at Sun Trust Park, followed by Mike Foltynewicz in the second game. Lefty Max Fried, who won one of the 17 best games in his first full season, worked last year in all four NLDS games, but was able to start with any of the games. He was more impressive than all the starters in Atlanta during his last outing in the regular season.

"We have our front-line starters and we are more traditional," said Snitker. “I have a lot of faith in the starters that we have and I also love our bullpen. We are not a more open team, we have starters. If they pitch the majority of our innings, we'll do well. "

Foltynewicz, who had so much trouble in the spring that he needed a refresher course in Triple-A, had gone 7-0 in nine starts since he returned from the minors before bowing for the Mets Saturday. He gave up all three New York runs in the third inning.

"He did well and went back when he did," Snitker said about the All-Star 2018. "(His problem) was a by-product of not having spring training and catching up. He went back and met. He came back and did very well. "

The manager, a member of the Braves organization since he started his career as an outfielder in the minor league in 1977, said he and his staff would spend the three days off for the play-offs to make different decisions.

"There have been many internal conversations about different things," Snitker said. "We're going to be a bit versatile about how we can go. Whether we use a fourth starter can depend on how the opponent is doing or how the first two or three boys are in line."

Snitker said that this year's juicy ball has no influence on his decisions, although Soroka has been one of the front runners to minimize gopherballs.

"It will be the same game that we have seen all year round," he said. "I don't know if I've ever made a move or done anything that was influenced by baseball. The players make the most decisions I make. Like guys hitting them now, you think every time the ball goes up in the air opportunity. "

The Braves will not be at full strength in October. Beyond the smashed Acuna and Freeman, Gold Glove midfielder Ender Inciarte and utilitymen Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo are injured and are unlikely to be ready, even if the Braves survive the best-of-five Division Series against the Cardinals. But that does not deter the cheerful Braves pilot, a former coach under Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox.

“The post-season is a different animal. I saw that last year, & he said. "You have to strike earlier and take advantage of your situation, because you have days off at the back."

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Before Brian met the media at CitiField last weekend, he sang the praises of the Broadway hit Beautiful.

"I had no idea that Carole King was responsible for so many hits," said the Atlanta Braves manager, who saw the show on a rotunday in New York last week.

With a gleam in his eyes, the 64-year-old manager rattled the names of James Taylor and The Shirelles. He also admitted that some of his players even heard of it – or heard the songs popularized by The Four Seasons at Jersey Boys, a show that Snitker caught in January when he came to New York to collect his 2018 Manager of the Year award .

Thanks to the retirement of Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost this week plus the resignation of Joe Maddon, Snitker is the oldest manager in the major competitions, but he clearly enjoys the Fountain of Youth he discovered in Atlanta.

The Baby Braves surprised by jumping from 90 losses to 90 wins last year and retained their crown with 97 wins, second in the National League only for the Los Angeles Dodgers, in 2019.

They have not won a series after the season or a pennant since 1999, but Snitker insists that his charges are ready.

"It was good that they went through it and experienced the play-off last year," he said. “It made them more hungry and more self-assured. They know what they can do and what they are capable of. "

Health should be a key factor, with lead-off man Ronald Acuna Jr. who returns from a mild groin attempt and co-slugger Freddie Freeman fights a painful elbow that may need surgical repair this winter.

"Ronald is feeling well," Snitker reported. "He wanted to play on Sunday, but he was not so hopeful that he will be really good on Thursday. He can still hit, he just can't get there and run or get a good break on balls."

Acuna, 21, fell three steals shortly for a 40/40 season, but still led the competition in stolen bases, led the team with 41 home runs and formed a powerful 1-2-hit with close friend Ozzie Albies at the top of the Atlanta row.

They are great table makers for Freeman and cleaner Josh Donaldson; Acuna led the competition in points while Albies finished first in hits.

"Freddie feels great," the manager said. “That was a good thing we did, keeping him out of the (two-game) Kansas City series and having him treated. It's very common for baseball players – you get hit in the wrong place, it's pretty painful. Sometimes it gets stuck and you have to pay attention and go back a bit. & # 39;

Freeman ended with career spikes in both home runs (38) and runs batted in (121) but failed to go deep since September 1, when he hit a few.

In contrast to the season-opening series in Philadelphia, when injured-ridden Braves rookies Bryce Wilson and Kyle Wright needed to start two of the first three games in Philadephia, Snitker has confidence in his pitching staff. He just doesn't know who starts when, although Rookie of the Year contender Mike Soroka, with big road numbers, will start Division Series Game 3 in St. Louis Sunday.

"When we started the year, most of our rotation was injured," he said. "We started a lot of young boys who didn't have many innings in the first series. It took us a while to get this thing off the ground and get the rotation when we got boys back from injuries, lack of spring training and the whole thing, we kept things together and kept our heads above water. & # 39;

Soroka, scheduled for Game 3, could return in relief 5, Snitker said, but the manager is not sure if he will use three or four starters.

Chances are that left-handed veteran Dallas Keuchel, a sinkerball player with World Series experience, will open the series on Thursday at Sun Trust Park, followed by Mike Foltynewicz in the second game. Lefty Max Fried, who won one of the 17 best games in his first full season, worked last year in all four NLDS games, but was able to start with any of the games. He was more impressive than all the starters in Atlanta during his last outing in the regular season.

"We have our front-line starters and we are more traditional," said Snitker. “I have a lot of faith in the starters that we have and I also love our bullpen. We are not a more open team, we have starters. If they pitch the majority of our innings, we'll do well. "

Foltynewicz, who had so much trouble in the spring that he needed a refresher course in Triple-A, had gone 7-0 in nine starts since he returned from the minors before bowing for the Mets Saturday. He gave up all three New York runs in the third inning.

"He did well and went back when he did," Snitker said about the All-Star 2018. "(His problem) was a by-product of not having spring training and catching up. He went back and met. He came back and did very well. "

The manager, a member of the Braves organization since he started his career as an outfielder in the minor league in 1977, said he and his staff would spend the three days off for the play-offs to make different decisions.

"There have been many internal conversations about different things," Snitker said. "We're going to be a bit versatile about how we can go. Whether we use a fourth starter can depend on how the opponent is doing or how the first two or three boys are in line."

Snitker said that this year's juicy ball has no influence on his decisions, although Soroka has been one of the front runners to minimize gopherballs.

"It will be the same game that we have seen all year round," he said. "I don't know if I've ever made a move or done anything that was influenced by baseball. The players make the most decisions I make. Like guys hitting them now, you think every time the ball goes up in the air opportunity. "

The Braves will not be at full strength in October. Beyond the smashed Acuna and Freeman, Gold Glove midfielder Ender Inciarte and utilitymen Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo are injured and are unlikely to be ready, even if the Braves survive the best-of-five Division Series against the Cardinals. But that does not deter the cheerful Braves pilot, a former coach under Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox.

“The post-season is a different animal. I saw that last year, & he said. "You have to strike earlier and take advantage of your situation, because you have days off at the back."

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