Braves quotes after Tuesday’s win against Phillies



**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Medlen performance and the game

“Outstanding. That’s a couple outings in a row now where he’s been nails. He really was. So much so you let him go out there in the eighth inning. Carpenter did a fantastic job coming in there with men on base and getting out of that situation. Played some good defense today. Schafer made a couple nice plays – a diving play coming in, throwing out the runner at second. Heyward cutting that ball off in the ninth inning, holding Chase Utley to a single. Freeman’s line drive. And Chris Johnson doubling off that guy there in the seventh. But good defense, good baseball game. Chris Johnson with a two-run homer and Medlen helping his cause with a two-out RBI double.”

Seeing a change in Medlen’s demeanor on mound, confidence lately?

“I think so. But that goes hand in hand. When you’re pitching well and getting results, your confidence level is going to rise. But he has been really, really good. Today I thought it was the best curveball I’ve seen in a while, mixing his change-up, fastball both sides of the plate. It was a well-pitched ballgame.”

Did you figure if he gets first guy in eighth, you leave him in?

“I’m thinking let him go hitter by hitter. He’s facing the eighth hitter, possibility either Martinez, a switch-hitter, or a right-hander. And let him go hitter by hitter. I think if he gets the first guy out, let him go to the next guy. It’s one of those situations you don’t want to bring the next guy into a situation. I always like to give them a little wiggle room, the reliever coming in. you don’t want to go too far with Medlen in this case and all of a sudden you’ve got to bring in Carpenter with first and third or first and second nobody out. So Roger and I talked about it, let’s go hitter by hitter, see what he can do.”

In Medlen’s past two starts, look like he did last year?

“Yes. I think so. His stuff has been a lot crisper, his fastball. It’s got little giddy-up there in the end, the last five or six feet, and his change-up has been down and his curveball has got some tight rotation to it. It’s nice to see.”

On showing his athleticism

“Yeah he can do a lot of good stuff. We saw it last year — he could hold a runner, he could field his position, swing the bat.”

**KRIS MEDLEN

On his performance

“I don’t know a cleanup hitter in the league who can’t hit that little get-me-over curveball I tried to throw to Domonic Brown there. But to hold them to one, for me, that’s an accomplishment, because throughout my career I’ve had trouble with them. No matter who’s been in a Phillie uniform, I’ve had trouble with them. So just to get some consistency, go at them and keep the ball down – yeah, it was big for me.”

On whether he texted Hudson after getting another RBI hit (they have a friendly competition)

“No, I think his dreams were crushed when he saw how decent of a hitter I was, and he came back down to earth after the first two weeks of the season.” (laughter)

“No, but Martin’s got some pretty good stuff. Got myself in a 3-2 count where I was just trying to get the (bat) head out on a pretty hard fastball. Luckily it got over Ruf’s head and we scored a run.”

On whether he fielded comebacker between his legs

“Everyone asked me if it did. I still have no idea. I don’t think it did, but, you know, it was just pure reaction. I kind of moved my knee. It was on a beeline to shatter my knee. I barely moved it and it went in my glove.”

On the defense

“We got a couple of big double plays, that line-drive to C.J. off Asche’s bat. Pastornicky coming in on late notice – he was taking batting practice in Gwinnett and was told he was coming up here. He had some chances to make some plays at second base; he’s worked real hard to improve in that light. Schafe made a great catch in the eighth inning when I got taken out and Carp gave up the line drive. Last year it felt like everything clicked, and I think the defense is clicking (now) as well.”

More on his RBI double

“Obviously we’ve been told we don’t get paid to hit and whatever else, but any time you can contribute with the bat — getting bunts down, getting hits – obviously it’s going to help you and help your confidence when you go back to the mound the next inning and you were the one who drove in a run or got a bunt down to lead to another run.”

On his recent starts

“I feel like I’ve been locating better; my change-up’s been pretty good and I’ve been throwing some pretty good curveballs, which I think to have that third pitch is pretty huge for me, to have an out-pitch and a pitch I can throw over for a strike.”

On working faster again lately, not thinking so much

“I’m not, like, in the middle of my lineup telling myself things. It’s just, what do I want to go with, what pitch do I want to throw? Mac puts down a sign and I’m going. That’s something that’s got me here, really. My aggressiveness and me just getting the ball and going and challenging guys. That’s kind of what I feel like I’m doing, and trying to keep the ball down, also.

“That walk to Kratz (to start eighth inning), obviously you don’t want to walk the guy to bring the tying run up to the plate. But I just wanted to keep the ball down. The last few times I’ve given up some homers, it’s been where I let myself kind of drift away and just threw a really flat, sideways fastball. So I just wanted to make sure I kept them down. So I wasn’t too unhappy with the walk, especially knowing we have the bullpen that we have.

“I didn’t know that I was going to get taken out, but I had a feeling. So I was just like, you know what? We’ve got whoever coming in, and for the most part they’ve gotten the job done the entire year, so you trust the guys behind you to get their job done, and Carp did awesome.”

On going from answering questions about possibly going to the ‘pen a while back, to winning four starts in a row

“I don’t know if it was organizational talk about me going to the ‘pen, or you guys (reporters), whatever. My entire career I’ve found myself in situations like that, and it’s never really fazed me. It’s nothing that’s really been on my mind. Just try to win games. Try to get closer to the playoffs – not the Wild Card game; the division title. We’ve got our eyes on that, and we’re pretty focused. We’ve got guys playing well.”

**TYLER PASTORNICKY

On contributing to win after being called on short notice from Triple-A (taking batting practice at Gwinnett when told today)

“Lot of fun. (Medlen) had his good stuff today; he was on. He was fun to play behind, working fast.”

**CHRIS JOHNSON

On how Medlen’s been pitching

“He’s been awesome. Every one of these (starters), it seems like since Huddy went down, every time they go out there it’s like they’re trying to prove something. They’re doing an amazing job, and us winning is because of them.”

On hitting the two-run, two-out homer after team wasted some earlier scoring opportunities

“Yeah, I had an opportunity myself early, to try to pick the team up and get some runs on the board, but it didn’t happen. I try to pride myself on having really good at-bats when guys are in scoring position, and doing whatever I can to square something up and come up with a big hit. Kind of let the guys down the first at-bat, so just glad I could do it the second.”

On the good defense tonight

“That’s all part of our game, to pitch, play good defense and try to put together quality at-bats. We did all three tonight.”

On players’ reaction to the death of fan who fell from upper deck on Monday

“We talked. We obviously heard what happened. It puts things in perspective. We’re just playing a game, really; that’s real-life stuff there. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim, and we’re with them.”

— quotes compiled by David O’Brien and Carroll Rogers


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