Quotes from manager Fredi Gonzalez, pitcher Paul Maholm and others following Tuesday's Game 2 loss to the Mets.
On Mets getting good pitching
“The two starters? Yeah, two pretty good arms they’ve got going over there. Two young guys that have real big arms and they’ve got a lot of upside.”
On having a chance until inning got away
“Both games. Both games we were right there and the one inning there blew right up in our face, first game and the second game, and they put big numbers up and we weren’t able to recover.”
“He did his job. He just left 3-1 count to Recker right over the plate and he hit it over the deepest part of the ballpark but nevertheless he hit it over. But he did a terrific job. We come back and make it a 2-1 game and go back out there in the eighth and didn’t put a big number up and weren’t able to recover after that.”
On struggles with runners in scoring position
“There was one time we left a bunch on and we just didn’t get that single or a bloop single. That eighth inning starts, we’ve got two outs and that ball up the middle that nicks Varvaro’s foot. Danny seemed like he was right behind it and all of a sudden, four runs later, we couldn’t get out of that inning.”
On good day out of Simmons
“Simmons did a nice job. He gives you good at-bats. Two walks and two singles. Freeman got three walks, (including) and intentional base on balls. Danny hit a double but we just couldn’t put them together when we needed to.”
Mistakes in eighth, late struggles any more frustrating given long day at ballpark?
“You hate losing games and you hate losing games where you make mistakes but it doesn’t matter how long you’re here for. That’s the way it goes. We’ve got two more games against these guys. We always talk about winning series. We win the next two and we win the series. That’s what we’ve got to go on for tomorrow.”
Are you and the players going on fumes?
“I don’t know. I don’t think so. I’m fine. But obviously my stuff is more mental than it is physical. But I didn’t see any lack of hustle. I didn’t see any lack of guys being tired. I just saw guys getting…we didn’t get the hit when we needed to. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
On the doubleheader, after Monday’s game ended at around 1:30 a.m.
“Exhausting. Glad to get it over with. Just get some rest and get ready for tomorrow’s game.”
On facing Wheeler after going up against ace Harvey in day game
“We had a couple of chances. We didn’t cash in on (Wheeler). Harvey did great, used all his stuff. (Wheeler) had a little more command issues, but unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize.”
More frustrating losing when you go 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position
“Yeah, we had chances to at least, like, score some runs. And we didn’t do anything about it. Just try to forget about it and come tomorrow and do it.”
On borderline calls in the at-bat vs. Recker (two-run homer)
“I’m going to go with no comment…. Well, you know what? I struck him out. Three of the pitches were strikes and then I’ve got to throw a 3-1, obviously I didn’t make a good pitch but you go look at it, there’s three pitches that are strikes, and it sucks. And he took advantage of getting in a hitter’s count.”
Can you separate that one at-bat to quantify your outing as a whole?
“Obviously I felt good. Made some pitches, I got some groundball double plays. I made pitches when I got runners in scoring position and didn’t walk anybody. So obviously I felt good. It sucks to lose and it sucks to come down to where you go through two different strike zones.”
On when he felt like he went through two different strike zones
“The first few innings I was making pitches and getting the calls, and then a couple innings later making the same exact pitches and they’re not called. It’s part of the game, you’ve got to deal with the strike zone day to day and see what they’re calling, but like I said the first few innings they were strikes and later on they weren’t.”
Did Mac try to settle you down, talk you through it when he came out to mound?
“No, we were on the same page. Obviously he’s back there catching and understands where the pitches are. And I’m not big on arguing with umpires on balls and strikes because obviously I have to continue to pitch but I wasn’t getting frustrated in the at-bat, it was more of he came out and said, make your pitch. I wasn’t throwing a 3-1 cookie, I threw a 3-1 cutter backdoor and it caught a little bit of the plate and he hit a home run.”
Tough slog for team getting through 3 games in 24 hours?
“We started (last night) and I don’t even know what time. We get it: It would have been tough to have to make that game up at another time. You play last night, and then get 4-5 hours sleep and you’re right back up, get a guy like (Matt) Harvey. I wasn’t in the first game, but I watched it. To get a guy like Harvey throwing in the day, then rest a couple of hours and come out and get a rookie you’ve never seen with pretty good stuff? Yeah, it’s definitely tough.”
On facing Wheeler at night, after gearing up for Harvey in day game
“Got very little video on (Wheeler). You hear about him on TV all the time, but until you actually see him in person, it’s going to be tough. He pitched well. He threw some good pitches. At the same time, the first inning he was kind of erratic. But he got more and more around the plate. That’s not an excuse.
“Just a rough last 24 hours. We fought all we could the first game, just had a disappointing ending in the second game. The score doesn’t really say how close that game was.”
On Braves being in game in nightcap until ugly four-run eighth inning
“We’re always in the game. Until the last outs we always feel like we’re in the game. That’s just a tough inning. Those type of innings are going to happen.”
**Mets pitcher ZACK WHEELER
On his first outing
“It was definitely an experience. I had some jitters going at first. Then I settled down a little bit, probably the fourth or fifth inning. I just found a rhythm and I was able to throw my pitches for strikes. That definitely helped me out.”
On if he could imagine a better situation than pitching in Atlanta for his 1st game
“Probably not honestly. There were definitely some huge fans out here. It was a good experience. They were loud. I heard them.”
On what David Wright said to him when he came to the mound
“Just settle down. You got this. You’re better than them. He did the same thing in spring training so it definitely calmed me down a little bit.”
On if it was more emotions or nerves
“A little of both I guess. Definitely the nerves early and the emotions of just being here in Atlanta making my first start.”
On what was working best for him
“I don’t know. I mean, once I settled down, I was able to throw my pitches for strikes. My sinker was working. I was able to get it in on some righties. I started some people off with first pitch curve balls. That helped me get a little bit deeper and I was able to get them out early.”
On Manager Terry Collins letting him finish 6th inning
“I appreciate that he did let me go back out there and finish that. It was a big time in the game. I veered down a little bit. I was throwing strikes and just battled through it.”
On if there was a point he felt at ease and comfortable
“Yeah. I went into it knowing that I’m good enough to be up here, obviously. Once I settled down, I was ready to go.”
On when things got quiet for him and when he was able to focus on the game
“From the first pitch, honestly. I came into the game trying to concentrate on the mitt and (Anthony) Recker back there. I was able to do that. I still had some nerves going, but it worked out.”
quotes compiled by Carroll Rogers, Marq Burnett and David O’Brien