** FREDI GONZALEZ
Ran up against tough pitching the last three nights?
“I think it was a combination of tough pitching and we’re not swinging it right now really well. But sometimes you run into a hot team like they are now. They ran into us at our place, we were pretty hot and playing pretty good baseball. It’s probably a combination of both.
“I thought Teheran was pretty good, so much that you run him back out there in the seventh inning. That seventh inning just kind of got a little sideways on us.”
On the four-pitch walks by Teheran
“Both pitches had some pretty high pitch counts for early in the game. It was just non-competitive pitches on those three (walks) you’re talking about.”
On the seventh inning
“You give Teheran an opportunity to get a couple outs, even in the seventh inning, and he gives up two hits. You bring in Carpenter, and he’s been outstanding of late. Against some pretty tough right-handers, he gives up some runs.”
On Carpenter, with all he’s done this season, you figure there might be a correction or two, games like this?
“Well, he’s a young pitcher. Not age-wise, but a pitcher that doesn’t have much experience. Now you start to put him in situations late in the game and he’s been doing fine, and yeah, there’s going to be times where there’s going to be a little bump in the road. And hopefully we’ll get him back on track.”
What do you take from the three-game skid?
“We’ve got to start swinging the bats. What did we have, three hits going into the last inning? We’ve got to keep the line moving offensively. I think our pitching will be fine, but I think we need to start swinging the bats again.”
Do you feel the absence of Heyward a lot?
“You do, because he’s been swinging the bat and getting on base. But it’s throughout the lineup, and I don’t think the affect of one guy gets to the bottom of the lineup. It’s something that we’ve got to keep getting after it.”
“He was good. I really like the three guys that they threw at us the last three games. Hopefully tomorrow we get a chance to come back and play our good baseball that we normally play.”
“He didn’t have his best stuff today, that’s for sure. But to get through this lineup without your best stuff, and give us a chance to win, I tip my hat to him. He made his pitches when he needed to.”
How much has it been their strong pitching and how much your hitters?
“I think a little bit of both. When Wainwright’s on, Wainwright is one of the toughest guys to hit in the game. They’ve got really good arms over there. You’re facing a guy tonight throwing 94-96 (mph) with a good changeup. But at the same time, we have to have a little bit better at-bats.”
Could you tell early on with Teheran?
“That he didn’t have it. He just wasn’t as sharp as he’s been in the past. But he got through one of the best lineups in baseball and gave up two runs (before he came out). He pitched pretty good.”
On his fly ball that was caught just in front of wall by leaping center fielder Jon Jay
“I hit it pretty good. I didn’t think he was going to catch it, but I didn’t know if I got enough to get it out. They play deep here. I was surprised (he caught it), but he made a good play.”
Did a lot of it have to do with Heyward not being in lineup?
“I don’t think so. We hit a lot of balls hard tonight, too. We just didn’t get anything going. They made good plays when they had to.”
On his performance
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but I was battling through the whole game and trying to keep my team in the game.”
Could you tell from early on that you didn’t have your best stuff?
“Yeah, I knew from the first inning. I knew it was going to be a hard day for me, but I knew I had to compete and battle.”
On the four-pitch walks
“I just tried to make pitches. It was something mechanical, I was missing some.”
What in particular wasn’t working?
“My slider wasn’t working like it usually does. But I know I have other pitches that I can compete with, and that’s what I did.”
Homered on sliders?
“Yeah, twice. That was the two mistakes.”