Squared up a couple of balls in first game back from DL
“Yeah, I hit a couple of balls hard and that felt good. It felt good to play an actual full game. I DH’d the last two in Gwinnett. It felt good to be out there and play a little first.”
Good to have that game under your belt going to break?
“Yeah, for sure. A little more confidence. I saw the ball well the whole time in Gwinnett.”
On being selected to replace Freeman
“With Yadier hurt, I knew there was a chance. But I didn’t count on it.”
What’s the most enjoyable part of All-Star games for you?
“Being able to enjoy it with your family. When you walk in that door and you’re sitting around with the best players in the game, there’s not a better feeling, and it’s a sense of accomplishment. It’s a great feeling.”
Bochy said one of the reasons he considered you was, you gave the Giants home-field advantage in 2010 World Series (McCann had game-winning double for NL in 2010 All-Star game, was named MVP of game)
“That was probably one of the biggest highlights of my career so far. Something I’ll never forget, and hopefully I get a chance to do that again.”
How gratifying to have the stats to warrant All-Star consideration coming off shoulder surgery?
“It’s huge. Lot of hard work went into this winter to be in this position. The rehab that I put in, it’s all paying off right now.”
On getting asked by Bochy to replace Freeman
“Fredi (Gonzalez) asked if I was willing to accept it, and I said absolutely. They made it official right there.”
“Freddie’s carried us. It’s unfortunate that he won’t be able to play in the game. I’m happy to be going in his place; I’m happy somebody in this clubhouse got to go in his place. But I feel bad for him, that he won’t be able to enjoy it on the field.”
How’s hamstring feel?
“Good. It’s felt better every day. I was able to do full stretches today, walked on the treadmill, then some light jogging, more stretching, leg curls with (light) weight, things like that. We’re definitely headed in the right direction, man. Chicago looks really good right now for me to start playing again.”
“The break is going to do me some good. Continue to get treatment and exercise over the break, get ready for the second half.”
Regarding his calf
“I moved around, took a few swings in the cage. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be ready Friday.”
On his injured thumb
“It feels better. Just have to keep icing it, and hopefully the next four days when I keep getting treatment on it, when I get reevaluated back in Atlanta on Thursday morning hopefully we’ll have some good news and go from there. Hopefully I can be ready for Chicago.”
On McCann replacing him
“It’s awesome. He’s having a great season, and with little time played, too. He missed a month and a half and has just gone out and delivered. You couldn’t ask for much more. Once I heard Bochy wanted a third catcher, I had a feeling he was going to be going.”
On winning fan vote, not being able to go
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more (support). I’m still a little disappointed that I couldn’t play for them. But there’s nothing I can really do about it. At least we have another Atlanta Brave in there, with Mac going. It’s going to be a fun time. Obviously I wanted to be able to play, but it just couldn’t happen this year.”
On the series
“Good. We lost a lot of key players, but guys that stepped in did a terrific job for us. And you felt good that we had a chance. Even today, we hit the ball hard. Constanza hits a rocket back to the pitcher to get him out of that inning (with bases loaded). I thought Gattis hit a couple of balls hard after coming off the DL. You feel good anytime your back’s up against it like ours was, and the guys respond.”
“The All-Star break, hopefully we get some guys healthy and start to get going again against the White Sox.”
On McCann being picked to replace Freeman
“That’s a great honor. And I got a chance to tell him during the game. I got a phone call and came over. Seven times (All-Star for McCann) here in Atlanta. Six in a row before last year. And for him to get named again, what an honor. And a good guy to choose, too. A guy that’s been swinging the bat, that’s been hot. Hopefully he gets to represent the National League like he did a couple of years ago ago and win the ballgame.” (McCann was MVP of 2010 All-Star game.)
On holding it together in injury-plagued final week
“It’s unfortunate we had the guys go down that we did. All in all it was a good first half. We came together when we needed to. I think we learned a lot and made some adjustments throughout the half.”
You encouraged by your own performance the past 3-4 weeks?
“Yeah. I’d like to get some more hits other than homers, but at least the few hits I have been getting have been traveling out of the ballpark. It’s a place for me to build from and keep working. I’m going to keep working – you guys know that – and maybe get that average up to about .230, .240, and see what happens.”
On McCann being picked to replace Freeman on All-Star team
“Man, that was awesome. I was really hurt that Freddie isn’t going to be able to play. But the fact that that happen and they decided to take Mac in his place, I think that’s really cool. So congratulations to both of those guys. It sucks that Freddie isn’t going to be able to participate, but Mac is very deserving, as well.”
Comfortable with current lead over Nationals?
“No, never comfortable. We’re definitely not satisfied. But right now, looking back, we’re happy with where we’re at. Anytime we can put some distance between us and D.C. or Philly or whoever it is, that’s what we’re looking to do.”
On his performance
“I wasn’t at my best. I was just trying to compete out there. I didn’t have my best, but I was just trying to make pitches and get people out.”
Could you tell early that you didn’t have your best stuff?
“Yeah, I was feeling slow. My arm was feeling slow. I was feeling like that when I was warming up.”
“It was hot and I was sweating, and knew I was getting a little bit out of control.”