Quotes from manager Fredi Gonzalez and several players following the Braves' 7-6 loss Monday in San Diego.
On Gattis and Heyward making it interesting with 9th-inning homer
“They sure did. That’s the bright side to today’s game is, you start seeing guys like Heyward and both Uptons start swinging the bat. Danny has been going pretty decent here for a little bit. You start seeing those at-bats come along. That’s the bright spot. And Gattis – fourth pinch-hit home run. I don’t know what to tell you there. Keep running him out there when you get a situation. His swing works. We’ve talked about it, his swing works. It’s a short swing and he’s a big, strong man. So, stuff like that can happen.”
On Teheran, most damage came in three-batter span
“And sometimes I think our expectations of Teheran are for him to go out every time and pitch seven shutout innings. I know he took a no-hitter into the eighth, and sometimes you have four or five good ones and you’re going to have one like this…. He got himself straightened out after that one inning.
“We got behind the eight ball, but I’m glad to see our club never died. I thought if we got one more guy on base, it would have got even more interesting. But that didn’t happen.”
On the two runs off Gearrin ending up looming large
“They always do. I think we get so spoiled with our bullpen holding the other team right there, if we’re down or ahead. And today we didn’t. We give up two runs. You bring in Cory, who hasn’t pitched in three or four days, and try to get him over the hump. He gives up two runs, and it’s a one-run game at the end of the game. He went back out there in the next inning and got himself straightened out, so maybe that’s good for his psyche, for him to help us out the whole summer.”
On the ninth-inning rally
“Really, really, really proud of this team. We’ve got a really good team. We didn’t quit, don’t quit, we have a lot of fun, and we pride ourselves on that. That’s an example of it right there.”
On getting some carry on his balls, hitting a couple of longer homers
“Yeah, that’s some good stuff there. Glad to contribute, man. Take some weight off other guys and produce in this lineup. I feel like we’re a really young team, we’ve all got some growing up to do, and we’re taking it in stride. But at the same time, we’re having fun and trying to go out there and improve every night.”
On his big improvement in past 9-10 days
“Just better timing. The more your timing’s better, the better swings you’re going to take, and then it’s kind of a trickle-down effect. You get better pitches to hit, you don’t miss those, you don’t foul them off, and you don’t give pitchers enough chances to get you out.”
On Evan Gattis as a pinch-hitter
“It’s special. That’s special. You kind of think you’ve seen everything you’re going to see in the game, and then someone like him comes along and does what he’s been doing, man. I’m happy for him, I’m proud of him, and proud to call him a teammate.”
On the ninth inning
“We kept fighting. Lucky I got the homer, and then Heyward with another one, and we were one swing away from tying it. Too little, too late. But we made a push, and we did a good job of battling back.”
In that situation in the ninth, you go up there to PH, have already hit 3 pinch homers, what’s your approach there?
“I thought I swung the bat real well yesterday in L.A. and didn’t have anything to show for it, but a sac fly RBI. But just stay in there, not try to do too much, and that’s when the bat head usually comes through a little better. And just put a good swing on it, man. I got a good pitch to hit.”
On his pinch-hitter prowess, excelling so much in the role to begin career
“I don’t know how or why it’s working out the way it is.”
So you won’t keep this up forever, hitting a home run…
“Every two pinch-hit at-bats?” (smiles)
Said he only had one pinch-hit before this year, in rookie ball
On Jason Heyward’s two-homer night
“It’s awesome. He’s been swinging the bat well the last week and a half. He hit a lot of balls hard at people. So it’s just a matter of time.”
Gives team another dimension when he’s doing that?
“Absolutely. Not only in right field (defense), but swinging the bat. He’s dangerous. That’s awesome. More good things to come, hopefully. Keep it rolling.”
On his performance
“I was missing a little bit in the zone. Couple of mistakes. But I feel good. My arm felt good.”
On being ahead in count 0-2 before Venable came back to hit three-run homer on sixth pitch
“I just tried to throw (the pitch) to his back foot and I missed with that slider. But I was trying to stay in the game, to keep the team in the game.”
Feel like you did in most of your other recent, other than that sequence?
“No, I felt like I was missing more in the strike zone, a little bit up. Even with my two-seamer, all my pitches were up. I don’t know why, but I tried to make an adjustment. I can usually make adjustments, but I don’t know what happened today.”