Quite a performance by the bullpen, huh?
“A terrific job by our bullpen. But stuff that will go unnoticed in the game, to the average fan if they’re not here watching, is the way Janish went in there in the 12th inning, went in there hard against Utley, and Danny busted hard down the line 90 feet to make that a bang-bang (play) over there, and all of a sudden we win the game. You go in (to second base) tip-toeing, and you give Chase a clean look at the first-base bag, and they turn (the double play) and we end up not scoring a run. Those two plays go unheralded, but we appreciated it, the way those two guys made that.”
Were you trying to avoid using Avilan?
“Yeah, we were trying to give him another day, an extra (rest) day, but we had to use him, and he did fine.”
But he’s healthy, no physical issues?
“Yeah, the other night it was an inning-and-a-third against the Rockies, and we just wanted to give him a little extra day. But it’s the big leagues and it’s tough to do that. If everything was planned like we wanted, we’d have given it to him and we would’ve scored 100.”
Beachy seemed to make some adjustments and settle in after rough 1st couple innings
“I thought he was terrific. So much that we let him go out there in the seventh inning. Roger and I talked about it. His pitch count was about 90, let him go out there. Ayala did a nice job with Rollins; I think that ball was sinking off the plate. He got the bat out there and it ducked in there to tie the game. But other than that, I thought out bullpen did a helluva job.”
Good for Beachy to be able to stop throwing the slider early and have confidence with changeup and curveball?
“I think the more he goes out there and feels like it’s going to hold up – you do all that rehab from Tommy John and in the back of your mind you still wonder is it going to hold up – and that takes some time. You’re going to see him get better and better and more confident as he goes along…. I thought it was a great outing.”
On his second start since TJ surgery
“It was a step in the right direction, for sure. Rough first couple of innings, still kind of feeling for it. Then settled in, beared down and made some quality pitches in succession.”
On dropping the slider early in game and going with more curveballs and changeups
“I threw two (sliders) and the first one went about 800 feet. I waited to try another one against the pitcher, then decided to leave that there for now. I’m a better pitcher with it. I’m going to keep working on it in bullpens, and eventually I’ll get the feel for that back and have that weapon.”
Did you feel like your off-speed pitches were better than first outing?
“Yeah, I threw more curveballs and changeups. They were both pretty effective. Still could be a little better throwing that curveball in certain counts, but I got some outs on it, some weakly hit ground balls. The changeup was really big for me, keeping them off-balance.”
On the Braves’ ability to come back from deficits
“I’ve been watching them do it all season. Now to be a part of it, it’s completely different and a lot more fun for me. It’s just great watching them do what they do. You never have a doubt in your mind that they can come back, that they can go ahead. You’re never out of it with this lineup.”
On Beachy and the game
“Beachy pitched great, however long ago that was. Our bullpen, of course, shut it down like they always do. And we were able to get a run across. Three huge walks and Danny hustling and Janish taking him out, that’s a big play right there. It goes unnoticed, but that’s a huge play, to be able to get the throw a little off-line and Dan could be that ball out. No one’s going to know what happened there, but we do.”
On his slide
“We’re trying to score a run, bases loaded, you know Danny’s busting his butt to get down to first. The ball was hit slow enough that I had time to get a piece of him at second. Fortunately it was enough to disrupt the play.”
On all his teammates pointing to the slide as the key play
“I think it’s just under the circumstances – we’re in extra innings, it’s a big situation, they kind of got themselves into a pickle. So it’s probably magnified a little bit more than if it had happened in the third inning. Fortunately it was enough to help us win the game.”
On the winning streak and being able to contribute
“It’s awesome. Everything’s going good for us right now. Right now we’re rolling, so we’re just going to try to not change anything and stay hot.”
Your first plate appearance in a few weeks, you obviously don’t go up there looking for a walk?
(Laughs) “Yeah, I’m pretty certain that’s not what they had in mind when they intentionally walked Gattis. I don’t think they were trying to me. But it’s just one of those things. I try to do my best just to stay ready, so hopefully when the time comes I’m ready to go.”
On beating the throw to first base
“At that point in time everybody’s ready to go home, and ready to go home with a ‘W.’ And everybody knows the situation, you have to beat the ball out to get a run right there. So everybody’s going to be busting it, giving everything they’ve got, whatever they have left in the tank. And that’s what it takes to win sometimes. Everybody did that.”
Ump said he pulled his foot off bag; could you tell if you’d have beat it anyway?
“I couldn’t tell. All I could do was bust it and just listen for the sound of him touching it and me concentrating on the bag…. I felt like I was there, but fortunately it didn’t matter.”
On Beachy’s performance
“It’s always tough coming back from a surgery like that and all the rehab. He’s battling, man. I know there’s a lot more to come. I know it takes some guys some time when they come back. Wainwright went through it, and he’s back better than ever. And Beachy’s doing a great job. He’s battling, he’s getting his feel back, and we’re just excited to have him back on the bump.”