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One day later, Braves' Conrad back at work, but out of lineup

One night after his three errors sent the Atlanta Braves to a brutal loss and ensured his name would live forever in postseason infamy, Brooks Conrad tried hard to make Monday night feel like any other night at the ballpark. He signed autographs down the right field line in exchange for an outpouring of support from the fans. He fielded grounders during batting practice, and did not appear to kick very many away.

"The sun came up again today," Conrad said prior to Game 4 of the Division Series, "and we're here in the playoffs, playing baseball. And you can't beat that."

From a practical standpoint, however, plenty had changed. The Braves were facing elimination Monday night, and Conrad was benched for Game 4 - replaced in the lineup by veteran Troy Glaus, playing third base, with Omar Infante shifting from third to second.

"He needs a day off," said Braves Manager Bobby Cox, who spoke at length with Conrad on Monday morning. "He needs to get away from it for a day. [ellipses] I told him to hold his head high, and [be ready to] pinch-hit and win a game for us."

Conrad described the talk with Cox as a "good" one, and said, "Hopefully I'll put it to good use and start playing better."

The Braves have been reluctant to use Glaus, 33, at third base - he has played only three innings there all season, including the 10th inning in Game 2, when he entered as part of a double-switch and wound up starting a critical 5-4-3 double play - but had few other options after Conrad's nightmarish performance in Game 3.

"I played there a long time, so I definitely know what to expect," Glaus said. "I'm not concerned with making any of the plays. It's just a matter of getting into the rhythm of the game."

Glaus, who has been hampered by knee and ankle injuries this season, last played third base regularly in 2008. Eric Hinske, another option, last played there regularly in 2004. The Braves are carrying a utility infielder, Diory Hernandez, on their roster, but he has hit just .138 in 103 plate appearances over the past two seasons, and the Braves are desperate for offense.

By Dave Sheinin  | October 11, 2010; 7:13 PM ET
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Hang in there!
Many of us still believe in you and know you will overcome this slump!
Go, Braves!!!!!

Posted by: tennisne1ga | October 11, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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