Here’s a game-by-game look at the first four games of the best-of-five National League Division Series between the Braves and Cardinals.

Brian Snitker explains decision to start Duvall, pitching options for Braves in Game 5

Braves manager Brian Snitker answered questions before Game 5 of the NLDS Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals at SunTrust Park in Atlanta:
Q. You said you were thinking about putting [Adam] Duvall in. What was your reasoning?
BRIAN SNITKER: He’s hot. He’s had some success off of Flaherty. Who knows if it will last. He’s had some big hits for us. We’re going to try it.

» MORE: Adam Duvall starts for Braves in Game 5
Q. Another one of your guys who has been hot has been Dansby [Swanson]. Was there any thought of moving him up in the lineup tonight?
SNITKER: It balances really good. He’s been doing just fine where he’s at. And just kind of like where he’s at right now. I didn't want to mess with it.
Q. A big part of this series has been the young pitching. [Mike] Soroka on your side and Fried and then Flaherty today. It wasn't too long ago when such young pitchers wouldn't have the innings to participate — wouldn’t have the innings, they’d be so protected.
SNITKER: Right.
Q. I wonder if there were decisions you all made along the way to make sure the innings didn’t bloat on these guys?
SNITKER: Yeah, we talked. I heard about it all year. Every time you turn the TV on, it seemed like there was consensus that we were going to give these guys too many innings.
I think we did a really good job of limiting stressful innings, getting them out of innings early, not pushing them too hard. They all made their starts. They did the side work.
I’m a big believer that with those young starters like that, that you can break them down in between as much as you can on game day. And I think you’ve got to really monitor effort in between starts in the course of a long season until they figure out how to do that. I think that's a huge proponent of getting those guys through.
And I think we did a really good job of, like I said, limiting and monitoring stressful innings more than anything, because a guy like Soroka, it’s easy for him to come in after six innings and have 68 pitches.
And it’s kind of hard to justify taking him out. But one game’s 68th can be the different 68th the next game depending on how he gets there and things like that. I think we did a good job of him and Max [Fried] a little here and there, just kind of getting them out of games to monitor the innings.
Q. You had a pretty not great loss in Game 1 and you came back and won the next two games. Cardinals are one out away going up 2-1, lose, and come back and win the next day. We go over this every October, but is there any such thing as momentum in baseball?
SNITKER: Wow, I know. Like I’ve always heard, that next day starting pitcher is probably as good as any.
Q. Rick Hummel said that once.
SNITKER: (Laughter). You know what, I think this generation of players is really good about separating things. And I know our guys are. They have been for as long as I've been here. They’re really good about turning the page and today is a new day and all those cliches that are out there.
But they live it. I mean, they’ve shown that they can live that, and today’s no different. It was a tough loss two days ago. But I think I’m confident our guys will be ready to go and we’ll lay it out there for three and a half hours, whatever it is, today.
Q. Do you ever wonder if all these series should be best-of-7? Best-of-5 seems to be a lot more tense every game, has much more meaning than it does maybe in a best-of-7.
SNITKER: I don’t know. I probably haven’t experienced it enough yet to even know that. Ask me like five years from now. (Laughter).
I guess it’s more of a true, determining factor of the better club. I know this has been about as exciting as anything I’ve ever been through, this series has, and I’m sure today will be no different.
I understand, too, that, man, you’re really pushing way deep into trick-or-treating and all that stuff when you're doing that.
Q. We’ve seen how extraordinarily talented that [Ronald] Acuna is for the last two years. Do you think people are seeing in this series anything different, or has he surprised you at all, or just maybe put a stamp on what you’ve already thought about him?
SNITKER: He hasn’t surprised me. I don’t know that I’m going to be surprised at what this kid’s capable of doing. It’s pretty cool to see that -- he showed up last October also. And he’s trumped last year’s.
And what he can do — and I said before, I mentioned earlier that somebody asked me at the Home Run Derby: Do you think he's going to be nervous? I said the last place that kid's nervous is out there on the baseball field.
And I'm not surprised by it. I think he's showing the world what he’s capable of under these circumstances.


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