On ejection; as angry as you’ve been on the field?
“Yeah. I mean, all of us come to the field every day to compete. And we want to go out there and play the game that we love. And when you go out there and you see what’s going on, and don’t feel like people (i.e., the umpire) are giving it their all, it gets real frustrating. I just felt like from the get-go, he (ump Angel Hernandez) wasn’t at his best, being a catcher and working with him a long time.
“It’s just one of those things where, yeah, I may have went too far. The person I felt bad for the most was B-Mac. It’s his day off. But you only can take so much, and after watching Simba’s (Simmons’) first at-bat taken … It’s uncalled for. When the catcher throw it back to the pitcher on strike three, obviously he’s saying one thing: That it’s not even close. Us being catchers, we know what strikes are, and we throw it back to the pitcher if it’s not a strike. He threw it back to the pitcher and he rung him up. If you look at that, it just goes to show you what kind of night he had.”
You thought called strikes were consistently high on Simmons and you?
“Yeah. Just felt like even the first pitch to me … you’ve got a very good pitcher in Cliff Lee, one of the best in the league. And when you go to the plate to face a guy like that, you want to battle. It’s frustrating to go compete against him and he doesn’t have to throw strikes to get you out. I mean, that makes it even harder. He doesn’t need any help. He’s been one of the best in the league. When you go up there and you’re not making him throw strikes to get you out, it makes it a tough night for hitters. And I just got frustrated. I felt like I could have easily been in a 2-1 count, and I think just the way it started and the high strike (three), how he reached all the way across the plate and he gave him a strike. I felt like I just had enough. I said some things I shouldn’t have said.”
What did you say to him initially when you were walking away?
“I basically just told him to lock it in. This is the big leagues. We play in front of a lot of people. A lot of people watch us. And you just want it to be done right. And be accountable for your part….
“With him, I’ve had stuff in the past with him, sometimes you just, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. There were a couple of pitches before that, too, with Utley, that second pitch which I thought was a strike, and he (ump Hernandez) thought was a ball. You know, when one pitcher is getting one pitch and the other’s not, it’s real frustrating.”
On the strike zone
“The strike zone wasn’t that big of a deal while I was pitching. There were a couple of close ones, but I made some mistakes and they hit them hard. And obviously there were a few plays that we could have taken care of, but it’s one of those days where you battle and just see how long you can go. I wasn’t sharp by any means, but like I said, just made a few bad pitches that they took advantage of.”
Switching spots with Hudson have any effect?
“No, they let me know a few days ago how everything was going to go. Today was my regular day (rest between starts). As far as that goes, that wasn’t an issue whatsoever. I was prepared for the last few days. And knew, obviously going up against Cliff, you’ve got to be pretty good. When you give up five runs, it’s going to be tough.”
On four-run rally in seventh
“We came back. Danny with the big three-run homer and Simmons had a sac fly, got us back in the game. I thought we had some pretty good at-bats against Cliff Lee. Justin had a couple of hits off him early in the game.”
On the home run that was upheld by umpires
“When I went out there (to dispute it) I thought it hit the fence. But coming back here (and looking at replay), it looked like it went above the fence at hit the fans, right in the chest area. They went inside to review it and did their due diligence, and they called it a home run.”
On Laird getting tossed by Angel Hernandez
“I was trying to get out there before Angel (threw him out) and you lose a player there. But I don’t know, it looked to me to be real quick, that Laird was walking away. I don’t know if Laird popped off and said something on the way back. I don’t remember that exchange, it happened so quickly.
“But it was a situation where a couple of things happened that I’ve never seen in a major league game.” (Referring to catcher throwing ball back to pitcher on called third strike to Simmons, because catcher thought it was a ball, too.)
“He got a pitch up to Howard. But other than that, he gave us a good opportunity.”
More on Angel Hernandez
“The first at-bat by Simmons was the one (that started problems). When the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher and you call a strike three, it kind of makes you wonder. And I think Quintero was trying to throw it back to the pitcher again when Laird struck out. But Angel said those balls were on the top of the strike zone and were strikes.”
On McCann dropping the throw to plate when Delmon Young scored in 6th inning
“It was kind of snow-cone type play. He comes down and makes a tag on Young, he just kind of kicked it out of there. But it’s a tough play.”
On Terdoslavich’s first hit
“Good for him. He got a big knock.”
On the seventh-inning rally against Cliff Lee
“We had one good inning tonight, where we put some pressure on them. Cliff Lee was on his game. He was able to use both sides of the plate, mix speeds up and down. He was on his game until that (seventh) inning.”
On his dropped ball on play at plate
“It was one of those plays, I should have made it. I jumped up and caught it. I guess it snow-coned a little bit more than I wanted it to, and when he slid in it kicked out.”
More on facing Lee
“When Cliff Lee is on his game, you kind of weather the storm. We were able to score four off Cliff Lee. You take that as a positive, I guess.”
On Braves’ ability to overcome substantial deficits
“We’re a bloop and a blast from getting back in it every game. That’s what happened tonight. Dan came up with a huge home run.”
On making things interesting after falling behind early against one of baseball’s hottest pitchers right now
“Yeah, Cliff pretty much made one mistake. He battled like he always does. Gets ahead, looks like he’s going to go eight or nine innings.
“I don’t know. It was a weird game. We didn’t play very well. Not to take anything away from them, but a couple of plays just didn’t really go our way. Could have been a different ballgame.”