Three errors in one game for Brooks Conrad made Braves manager Bobby Cox’s decision pretty simple, but not easy.
He sat the struggling second baseman down for Game 4 Monday, even though it meant turning to Troy Glaus at third base, where he’s played only four major league innings this year. Cox moved Omar Infante from third base to second.
“I talked to Brooksy at length this morning and he needs a day off,” Cox said. “He needs to get away from it for a day. And I told him to hold his head high and maybe pinch hit and win a game for us.”
Conrad endured a Bill Buckner-like night Sunday, misplaying two ground balls and a pop-up that cost the Braves two runs in a 3-2 loss. The last straw came in the ninth inning when he allowed a one-hop grounder from Buster Posey to slip untouched through his legs as the winning run scored.
Not surprisingly, Conrad did some tossing and turning Sunday night.
“I didn’t sleep a whole lot,” he said before Monday’s game. “But the sun came up again today and we’re here in the playoffs playing baseball. You can’t beat that. So I’m excited for today.”
Conrad said it helped to go home to his wife Jessie and two young kids.
“That always puts things out of your mind in a hurry,” said Conrad, who has a daughter Reese 1 ½ and son Jax 3. “They just want you to come home and be a dad. It’s pretty cool.”
Cox used his pre-game press conference Monday afternoon to make a plea to Braves fans to continue to support the spark-plug bench player. He heard his share of boos throughout the game Sunday night.
“Fans have really had his back all season long and I’d like to see them continue that,” Cox said. “He needs that help right now.”
Fans at batting practice Monday afternoon didn’t need the prompting. Conrad received an ovation from fans in outfield, when he went down to warm-up. They did not stop cheering until he acknowledged them with a wave.
“I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments from the fans,” Conrad said. “That’s meant a lot to me.”