On only getting two hits, couple of McCann fly balls being only hard-hit balls all nigh for Braves
“I thought the first one Mac hit had a chance. I don’t know if it was just because of the cold temperature, the weather today, and it was the deepest part of the ballpark. It didn’t quite go.
“We didn’t get good swings. Paul (Maholm) did a nice job, seven innings, give up three runs. And Lohse made it hold up for him. But we didn’t get good hacks. I think at one point in the fifth inning he only had 40-some pitches. We didn’t make him work.”
On Freeman’s absence after getting ejected following the first-inning skirmish
“You lose your best hitter before you even get to whack at (the ball). Before you ask me the next question, it was a weird set of circumsances. I’ve never seen anything like it in my baseball career, whether in the major leagues, the minor leagues, or Little League. I don’t know if there’s history there or not, obviously there’s something. I think there were a lot of guys on both teams that were surprised at how it went down.
“If there is some history there, I think by you hitting a home run, you made a statement. But the way you behaved around the bases, I think it was embarrassing for a professional baseball player to handle himself that way.”
You think McCann and Freeman handled it appropriately?
“I think so. One thing about showing people up and the way Gomez did it … it was weird. I don’t know what Freeman did to get ejected, to tell you the truth. They told me he was throwing punches, and I hadn’t see the video, but some of the guys who have seen the video said he wasn’t throwing any punches. Anyway, it was just a weird start of a game. But again, there were a lot of guys on both clubs that were real surprised at how that thing went down.”
So it wasn’t about Freeman exchanging words with Gomez as he rounded first, but about what happened in scrum?
“Yeah, the umpires told me it was for throwing punches, it had nothing to do with anything else.”
“When you get a melee there, maybe they confused him with someone else. I don’t know. He got ejected. The only thing I want to fight, and I will fight after I see the video, is I don’t want any suspension (for Freeman). We lost our No. 3 hitter in the course of the game. OK, fine. But I don’t want anything else going forward from our league office.”
More on Gomez’s antics
“I think any baseball person, whether you were watching in the stands, or watching from the dugout, or watching the replay on TV, would be astonished by (what Gomez did) around the bases. That’s it. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“Seven innings, three runs. He gave us a great opportunity to win a ballgame.”
On reason he got ejected
“Because I came in throwing punches, haymakers all over the plate. I had to ice my hands afterward because it hurt so bad.” (Response was sarcastic.)
“I didn’t throw one punch.”
You just yelled at him?
“I just told him to act like he’d done it before on the bases and start running. Then the altercation at home plate, and I just came in and kind of moved the pile a little bit. Supposedly I hit a lot of people in the face with punches.”
“I don’t know if they just picked the biggest guy in the pile and kicked them out. I don’t know what was going on. It’s just one of those things, it’s unfortunate. It’s a tough game, and unfortunately I got kicked out in the first inning. For doing nothing. It’s a little frustrating.”
More on Gomez’s actions
“Just act like you’ve done it before. Hit a home run and run around the bases. If you have a beef with the pitcher, have a beef with the pitcher. Don’t make us get involved. We’re going to back up our pitcher. I’m fine with how everything was handled” by Braves players.
Have you ever seen anyone show up a team that much?
“No. There was a line and he kind of crossed it. We stuck up for our pitcher. I think everything was handled. Unfortunately they decided to kick me out of the game for some reason.”
**Brewers’ CARLOS GOMEZ
On displaying his emotions in the first inning:
“I do a little bit more, I don’t apologize (for) this. Just take the pain back because you see the replay. They hit me for no reason and I tried to get it back today. It was the only opportunity that I have and that’s what I did. It’s nothing against the organization for the Braves. I respect everyone. I (would) do the same thing if I was on the other side.
“If the guy do like I did today, defend my teammate, but they’re not in my head on my side. They hit me for no reason. And if I do something to get hit, I put my head down and go to first. But I don’t deserve that hit by pitch last time and that’s what I did today. I feel bad for all that happened today because they’re in a situation, they’re going to the playoffs. I don’t want nobody to get injured from my time, for their team. It is what it is.”
On how he knows they hit him on purpose last time
“You can watch the replay. You’ll get answers. I know. I’ve been seven years in the league and I know when I get hit on purpose and when not. And I get hit many times and I put my head down. I don’t make any controversy for my hit by pitch. I always, in seven years, put my head down and walk to first and nobody can say nothing about that. But today I feel like I had to take it back and that’s what I did.”
Has Maholm hit you more than once?
“(He) hit me twice, but the last one is the one I remember. The last one is the (one) that made me limp for two weeks because that hit me right in the bone in my knee, and I was limping for two weeks. That’s not fun.”
Surprised to be blocked out of home plate by McCann?
“If I’m the catcher, I do the same thing. His (job) is to protect his pitchers, protect your teammates and it is what it is. I respect McCann. All his players, I’m apologizing to his manager, the organization. I know can be like that far, but always again the adrenaline, the emotion take it a little bit more (than) like you expect. I don’t expect to hit a home run and (be) talking all around the bases. The reason that I was talking is because they talked to me back and I responded. If nobody talked to me, I walk the bases like I do. Two nights ago, I hit a home run and I put my head down and run the bases like nothing happened.”
On if or what he said to Maholm on his way to first
“I started talking and opened my mouth when everybody from the catcher, third baseman started talking to me. Just had to respond back. I didn’t say anything bad, just that I said ‘you hit me, I hit you, now we’re even.’ That’s all I said. I didn’t (dis)respect anybody. The only bad words come to my mouth was when I’m standing at home plate and McCann dropping (curse words) on me. I said if you say that, I can say too. We’re all men. But it’s nothing personal.”
On if McCann said something to him from behind, on his way to first
“Yeah he was screaming at me but you expect that because I hit a home run and pimp it up. If I’m from the other side I’d be doing that too. But I’m not afraid to do this.”
**Umpire crew chief DANA DeMUTH
Was Gomez jawing after the first pitch (he homered on the second)
“He wasn’t very vocal. He might have been jawing in his eyes from what we saw. Yeah, he was giving him looks and stuff like that. So you’re thinking stay awake for a beanball. But he threw him a pitch Gomez could handle. It was nothing at his heads. There was no reason to give warnings at that point.”
Reason to eject Freeman, what did you see on the field and afterward on video?
“You had the chatter from Gomez going around. He started to getting on the pitcher as soon as he left the batter’s box. When he went around first, Freeman had a little reaction with stuff. No other infielder did and then we had what happened at home plate.
“When the group got together, you can see on the video very well, Freeman was overaggressive. Right when he came in, he went boom with an elbow which we saw and it caught the third baseman Ramirez. That right there is just like throwing a punch. That is overaggressive. That number one calls for an ejection. What we saw out there was the same as we saw (on video). There was nobody else that was overly aggressive other than Gomez of course.”
On Gomez never touching home plate
“Run scores with the obstruction. You can use the obstruction rule. You can use our rule, which is would he have scored anyway. Yes, he would have. There was two ways there, but it was definitely obstruction. The other way is just like if a guy hits a game-winning home run. The fans come on the field and he never makes it home. There was a reason why he didn’t make it to home.”
Did you expect that kind of reaction from Gomez?
“No. Whatever. He hit a homer. I threw a bad pitch. And he decided to act like that.”
You hit him in Milwaukee, did you know that history was such a big deal to him?
“Obviously he held onto it. I guess every guy that hits him, he’s going to decide to act like that. I’ve hit plenty of guys, I’ve given up homers. He’s not the first, he’s not the last. But I’m probably going to say he’s the last guy that acts like that when he hits a homer.”
On McCann’s reaction, standing in basepath to confront Gomez
“We’ve got a group of guys that play the game the right way, and Mac’s a huge part of that. And you can tell from Freddie (Freeman), you can tell from everybody on the field. If he (Gomez) has an issue with me, if he thought I hit him on purpose in Milwaukee, he should have come out. If he thought I threw at him on purpose, he hits a homer, that’s how he wants to get back at me, great. But at least act like you’ve done it before, play the game the right way.
“Mac, the same thing in Miami, took exception and is going to stand up for anybody in this clubhouse.”
More on Gomez’s reaction
“I told him congratulations, you hit a homer, run. That’s all I said. Like I said, he’s not the first and he’s not the last to hit a home run off me, and he’s probably not going to be the last guy that pimps it. But you can pimp it and you can do whatever, but at least run the bases.”
On his pitching performance
“I felt good, obviously made it through seven, no issues with my arm at all. Hopefully I pitched well enough. We’ll see how it plays out.”
On Gomez reacting like he did
“Baseball players have a good memory, so apparently he thinks (and) their whole team’s under the assumption that we hit him on purpose (before). I don’t see it. I don’t know why we would hit him on purpose.
“He decided to do a little show after he hit a homer, so…”
On McCann confronting someone for second time in two weeks in similar situation
“Mac’s the best. Mac doesn’t stand for that stuff. I don’t think Mac was interested in having that kid touch home plate, so he met him halfway up the line and had some words for him. But he handled it the way a true pro should handle it and backed up his pitcher.”
“It is what it is. We’ll brush it off. We’ve got other things going on.”
On the offense struggling last several weeks
“Yeah, we’ve struggled. We’ve got to step it up and start having some better at-bats, start doing the little things. We’ve got to try to focus on getting some guys on base, and when we do, move them around a little bit. As a good offense, instead of just going up there and hacking. I’m guilty of it a little bit too, lately. We’ve just got to settle in these next four games and kind of get this thing rolling.”
**Brewers pitcher KYLE LOHSE
On the first inning excitement:
“It definitely got the adrenaline going earlier than I expected, but I’m sure you guys heard about whatever was going on, so I won’t talk too much more. It felt good to go out there and establish that I was going to throw strikes and they were swinging. The end result of that is you’ve got good defense behind you, you’re going to have a decent game. That was a little better than decent so I felt good coming out of that.”
On where he was during the altercation
“I was in there late because I was all wrapped up (arm was wrapped) and I wanted to get that off so I could get out there. I happened to be right where Kranny went down (pitching coach Rick Kranitz), Gomez popped out of nowhere, and I was trying to get McCann and Laird and tell them, ‘Settle this thing down, let’s just go play some ball’ because I know those guys. Laird I played with and McCann, I have respect for him, playing against him all these years. It was over after that I think, as far as I know.”
On whether he knew what Laird did to get ejected
“He’s very vocal. It’s not anything…I love the guy. That’s how he is. I was just trying to basically keep him from getting kicked out, I guess. But it didn’t work.”
On wanting to work off their aggression:
“That’s what I do every time. I’m not a guy who’s going to try to strike everybody out, not trying to go deep in counts. I just go out there and try to establish that I’m going to throw strikes and then keep that four pitch mix coming in so they can’t sit on anything and Lucroy called a great game, keeping it mixed up. I had a good slider going, dropped in good curveballs and located the fastball and change-up. They were very aggressive and there are nights like this where it works to your advantage. There are other nights where some of those fall in and it doesn’t go so smoothly. Luckily tonight was one of those nights.”
On last two starts at this ballpark being eventful (pitched the wild card playoff last year for St. Louis)
“Yeah, right. I was thinking about that when I came back and sat down. I was like ‘At least no water bottles starting raining down from the upper tank.’ It definitely reminded me exactly of that situation, that great call.”
On Roenicke thinking about backing him down, and then he throws complete game
“I know. That definitely messed up that plan for him because we talked a couple days ago about what I wanted to get out of it. I said ‘You know, if you feel it’s time for me to go, pull me, but obviously going like that it forced his hand to leave me in there. Felt good to do it that way.”
On if paid attention to his pitch count
“Yeah, I realized fourth or fifth inning when I had like five innings and 41 pitches. You do notice stuff like that, at least at my stage I notice things like that. It’s not like I’m going to try to do anything different, if I have a high pitch count or do anything different if I have a low pitch count. I just noticed that and realize you’re throwing strikes, they’re putting them in play.”
On whether the situation had potential to get bad
“It was weird. It escalated quickly. I wasn’t expecting it to get to that point. So I don’t know what was said. On my start day I’m kind of in my own bubble, trying not to get distracted by stuff.”
Had things calmed down by time he interacted with Braves on the bases?
“I’ve competed against a lot of those guys. They’re veteran guys. I messed around with them out there and talked to McCann a little bit. I’ve faced them enough that we have that mutual respect. I was just messing with them about Freeman ducking me, trying to keep his .660 something average out there (Freeman is 2-for-3 off Lohse with a double and a home run), sitting on it. Just stuff like that.”
Brewers manager RON ROENICKE
“Oh my gosh was that impressive. Command was unbelievable, down in the zone, worked ahead, threw strikes, mixed speeds well. That was fun to watch.”
On if saw pitch counts in middle innings
“yeah after six he had low 50s I think. (41 through five)”
On maybe pitching him limited innings and calling it a year
“We were going to see how it went. We talked about it and we had just decided, let’s just see how the game goes and if it’s stress, then I’ll get you out there a little earlier. I didn’t even say a word to him.”
On the fight, if see why they were upset
“Yeah. Yeah I see both sides.”
On if that stemmed that from Maholm/Gomez in Milwaukee
“He’s hit him a couple times. Gomey I’m sure wanted to smoke a ball off him and he stood there too long. I get them. But on their end too, that was a little…both of it was excessive.”
On thinking when saw McCann standing at plate
“I thought the benches were going to clear and we were going to have problems.”
On if surprised McCann wasn’t ejected
“I don’t know. There was a lot that was happening there and if you want to eject him then you’ve got every guy that was chewing on him as he was going around. So who’s ejected. There was a lot. I don’t know.”
On if Ramirez’s knee was a part of the whole scrum
“Yeah. When you get that many guys pushing and shoving and whatever else, somebody is usually going to get hurt. Knee strain, and day to day, I don’t know. We’ll see how he is when he comes in tomorrow.”
On team being able to keep the focus after that
“You get fired up and then somehow you have to calm down. It all starts with Kyle. Kyle goes back out to the mound and just deals. Got into a flow, working quick. When you’re out in the field playing behind a guy that’s doing that, that’s what it’s all about. That’s the ideal game to play behind a guy.”
On if had a talk with Gomez or will
On what his message was
“Just the whole thing. Great, he hits a home run off him but you know, get around the line. But I don’t want to…It’s not all Gomey’s fault. Somebody starts yelling at you and he’s hot-tempered and then you get everybody yelling at him the whole way. And guy’s standing in front of home plate. So he’s not the only one that’s out of line there.”
On if expects Gomez to be suspended for any of these last ones
“They may try to do something, I don’t know.”