On team (and Mike Minor’s) bad luck Sunday
“It’s a cruel game at times, our game. Mikey pitched probably the best game of the year, and he got nothing. He got an ‘L,’ that’s all he got. It’s a shame. That’s the way our game is. We got bases loaded in the second, Reed Johnson hit a rocket and we got doubled off by the shortstop. McCann, bases loaded (grounder in the third), Keppinger made a nice play to kill that inning. And then the ball in the eighth inning, (would-be homer by) Reed Johnson. We still might have been playing.
“It’s just one of those things with this game of ours. They capitalized on (sixth-inning error), they got a run out of it. Rios hit a flyball over the drawn-in infield for another run. But still, you can’t take away from the way Minor pitched today. He may have been able to go back out there for the ninth inning, for me. He was that dominant. It’s just a shame that the only thing he gets out of it, other than a pat on the back and tell him hell of a job, is an ‘L.’”
On bringing infield in so early, in the third inning
“Well, we’re down 1-nothing already. And you bring them in there and try to cut the run down (at the plate). Your gut feeling is that it’s going to be a close ballgame. And it was. A 2-1 game.”
On Laird getting hit by pitch in the left hand
“X-rays were negative. That’s a good sign.”
“Just below the knuckle (bottom knuckle on inside of pinkie). There’s so many small bones in there, we didn’t want to take a chance of him doing more damage if there was something in there. So we got an X-ray and X-ray was negative.”
Another road series loss, but did you feel like you could’ve legitimately won this game today?
“We feel good (about it). I think if we go out and do what we did today, the way Mike pitched and the way we hit the ball at people, you win the game. But this game of ours, it’s cruel at times.”
Reed Johnson could’ve had four RBIs if couple balls go an inch higher
“At the very minimum. That ball at the shortstop maybe splits the (left-center) gap and he gets three there, and two with the home run. But it just wasn’t a good day for us today.”
On first complete game of his career and first by a Brave this season
“Not the way I wanted it to end, but it was a lot better than I thought it was going to end up. Because the first inning, I really didn’t have a feel for any pitches. I was missing a lot of spots, walked the first guy. I really didn’t know where I was throwing the ball.
“So it was a lot better than I thought. As the game progressed, I got a lot better.”
And did it working with two catchers (after Laird got hit by pitch, Gattis entered)
“Gattis came in and did a fine job. We kind of did a mini scouting report right before we went out there, and then every inning came back in and went over it again. Because the second and third time through the lineup, we didn’t want to use the same sequences” that Minor had used with Laird the first time through lineup.
“It’s really hard for the catcher (to come in mid-game). That just shows how good Gattis is back there making adjustments, and just going in there and doing what he can.”
On his pitching results
“I felt like I made some good pitches and they fell in (for hits), and then other times when I didn’t make good pitches, were right at guys and we caught them and made outs. Then Reed hits one over the fence and gets robbed. That would have tied the game up. It just really wasn’t going our way.”
On tough luck for the Braves Sunday
“Honestly, if I’m watching the game (on TV), the first couple of innings you would’ve thought we’d win this game. We had so many opportunities and we hit some balls hard. It just goes to show you how important defense is – they made some plays, and we hit some balls hard. Alexei robs Reeder and then turns a double play, and Casper robs him later, and Mac (grounds out on bases-loaded good play by second baseman). They made the plays when they needed to, and we just couldn’t get that big hit.”
“To go pitch a complete game right there and give the bullpen some (rest) time. He’s been great for us all year. And if you look at it, the first hit by Dunn was a ground ball to short, but you play the shift, that kind of hurts. And then with the infield in against Rios, he bloops one that barely gets on the (outfield) grass. So he’s got to look at that as a really good outing. He threw the ball well, he located well, and he gave us a chance to win the game.”
On initial concern when hit in left hand
“I’ve broke my hand before getting hit by a pitch like that. The thing that scared me the most was a I heard something pop. I don’t know if my knuckle popped or what, but it’s not broken, which I’m happy. But two years ago with St. Louis I got hit in the hand and broke my finger, so any time you get hit in that area … I wanted to stay in, but they wanted to take an X-ray to make sure it wasn’t broken. We have a lot of guys kind of banged up. But I’m just glad it’s not broken.”
On looking like he cramped up on infield hit
“No, you just kind of lunge for the bag when you sniff out hits. I just tried to lunge and beat him. I don’t beat (the throw) if I don’t lunge. And I just kind of stretched it out a little bit, but I’m fine. It feels fine right now.”
On having at least four potential RBIs taken away by good defense
“That’s the way it goes. I know we bring the infield in and they flip the ball out there (to shallow right) for an RBI. That’s just the way the game is. Like we were saying, that’s a perfect example of why they shouldn’t have a one-game playoff. Right there.
“A game that happens like that, you really feel like, you know, we played pretty well all-around, made maybe one mistake that cost us a run. But I thought we played pretty well and had some good opportunities, and actually took some good at-bats when we did get those opportunities. It just didn’t go our way, and let’s just chalk it up to, ‘Hey man, I had a couple of good at-bats, now move on to the next day.’”
On Keppinger making nice play on McCann’s hot groundball with bases loaded
“Same thing. That’s two RBIs right there again. Bases loaded again in that situation. Just kind of the way it goes sometime.”
On his would-be homer in 8th inning caught by Casper Wells
“I hit it OK. I knew the ball was traveling pretty good all weekend, so when I hit it I was kind of begging for it to get up. I didn’t crush it, but obviously in that situation they’re probably, I’d assume in the eighth inning, he’s reallyl playing pretty deep anyway, almost a no-doubles (defense). So that made it a little easier play for him. If I hit that ball earlier in the game it’s probably a homer, because he’s probably playing me a lot shallower in left field.
“So it’s just kind of, everything lined up (for the White Sox). That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
On accepting the loss
“Initially it’s still tough, but we move on to tomorrow. I think we’re in a stretch where we play 15 or 20 in a row without a day off. We’ve got four games against the Mets, one tomorrow. So it’s really not like football. It doesn’t linger for six or seven days. You’ve just got to go out and try to win tomorrow, try to keep the lead we have in the East right now.”