Braves postgame quotes from Saturday in Philadelphia

CHRISTIAN BETHANCOURT

On his day:

“The first day catching, it was exciting. I was looking forward to that day for a long time, and it finally got here, and I think it went pretty well.”

On if arrived about an hour before game time:

“Yeah, I’ll say 45 minutes right before I got to go outside and stretch, so I was trying to hurry, trying to get on the same page with David. I got help from the guys, with going through their hitters, so it was good.”

On if in some ways it’s good to be busy right up until first start:

“It was exciting because I got the call got up, got to the airport, got on the airplane and come catch. It sounds easy but it’s not.”

On having caught Hale before:

“We’ve been in the minors. I caught him for a few years in the past. It was fun to catch him again in the big leagues. It was just fun. We were on the same page the whole game and it was good.”

On emotions:

“I think that was a special night for me, the first complete game for me. It was good to be back there doing what I like to do, which is catching. I think it was a great game.”

On what it was like at the plate, having had one at-bat in the majors last year:

“I got one at-bat last year, and it was completely different this year. I was kind of nervous last year. It was completely different this year. My mind was set that it was going to be just another game, whether I was still in Triple-A or it was here, it was just another game. I’ve just got to go out and there and do my job.”

On what he’s going to do with the ball from his first hit:

“Probably give it to my mom.”

DAVID HALE

On Fredi saying he was almost tempted to keep him in there another inning:

“Yeah it was a surprise a little bit there when he said to go back out there for the sixth until the situation changed but I felt good the whole time. I’m surprised that I did feel good that long, being that I haven’t started since the end of April.”

On good day as a whole for the pitching staff:

“Oh yeah, big time. I mean everybody was worked, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow but great to get two wins.”

On his comfort level with Bethancourt:

“I’ve thrown to him a lot in the minor leagues. I haven’t thrown to him in the past year and a half, so I was a little nervous just because I added a sinker and we weren’t completely on the same page before he got here, but once I was out there I felt like we hadn’t missed a beat. I was very impressed by him.”

CHRIS JOHNSON

On being run-manufacturing fiends today:

“Yeah, it was nice. We got some hits. We got some guys on base, and we were able to come up with some timely hitting.”

On the day turning out just the way you guys would want:

“Two games. Two wins. It’s a long day, definitely and it’s not something you look forward to, playing two in one day but to come out with two wins, you can’t complain at all.”

On lift from pitching staff:

“They’ve been awesome. They kept us in the ballgame and they ate up a lot of innings, so we didn’t have to use a ton of our bullpen. Hale today did a great job, and then Varvaro and Schlosser closed the door, so it was awesome. A big win for us.”

On if took anything from last week’s sweep to use in approaches:

“No, they swept us at our place so we wanted to come in here and win some ballgames but for the most part I think we’re just playing our baseball right now.”

FREDI GONZALEZ

On Hale’s performance:

“David Hale gave us everything he had. So much that we were thinking about running him back out there. We pinch hit though. He gave us what we wanted, he gave us an opportunity and once we got the lead, Varvaro did a terrific job. A couple of tough innings there that he had to go through but he gave us a good two innings and then we added on some runs. Then Walden gave us a nice clean eighth and then Schlosser picked us up in the ninth. To go through a doubleheader and I think to use as minimal a number of pitchers as we used, you’ve got to feel pretty good about our club right now.”

On scoring 15 runs with only one home run:

“We hit some balls in the gap with people on base. I know Tommy had a couple and Justin had a couple. Solo shot by Doumit. We kept the line moving, which is something we’ve always been preaching about and it’s nice to see it.”

On seeing Bethancourt get his first big league hit:

“Good for him. He lands at 5:30. I would have told you guys earlier. We didn’t know. He lands at 5:25, gets here right at 6 o’clcok, get him in the lineup, and go get him. Not only does he get his first hit, he catches his first win as a major league catcher, so it was a good day for us.”

On how the decision unfolded:

“This morning when we came in and we started talking about Gattis a little bit. It wasn’t getting any better. Our biggest thing is putting players in a position where they’re going to be successful. And I think catching Laird two games in a row would have been not good for him, health wise, or catching Doumit who hasn’t caught in three months. Luckily we’re in Atlanta so there’s 400 flights coming out of there. And talking to Frank around 1 o’clock this afternoon, we decided to get him going, get him here, get him on the plane and we’ll make a decision when he lands whether it’s DL Gattis or make a pitching decision or whoever it was option them down, we’ll do that when he gets here. That’s why it took so long for that to materialize.”

On Gattis’ injury:

“We’re still not out of the woods with Gattis. I think we’re buying a couple of days, to buy him some time, because we don’t want to DL him and lose him in 15 days so we’re buying some time there and hopefully this thing gets cleared up here in the next couple days or it starts feeling better and give us that opportunity not to DL him for 15 days.”

On if looking at it like Bethancourt is here while Gattis is injured:

“I’m looking at short-term with Christian but it’s nice for him to come out here and watch him catch and watch him block the baseball and watching everything that Brian Snitker has told us about him. It’s good to watch him in person. (throw to second) yeah he made a great throw. That’s pretty good arm strength but we’ve seen that from him. It’s a good outing for the young man.”

GAME ONE QUOTES

ERVIN SANTANA

On if approaches it differently knowing Braves needed him deep into the game:

“Not at all, you just to keep it simple, do the same thing we’ve been doing the whole year, keep the ball down and for the most part that’s what I did today.”

On what was working best:

“Everything was good. I threw a lot of strikes and everything was working.”

On groove after the second inning:

“A couple pitches in the first inning were a couple pitches up that I made an adjustment and I kept the ball down for the most part.”

On if fired up after giving up hit to pitcher:

“I know. I guess we played him to pull. I don’t know why. It’s part of the game so.”

On getting back on winning track:

“It’s about time. We had to keep pushing. We have to keep playing hard.”

TOMMY LA STELLA

On how it felt to split the gap after recent struggles:

“That was nice. Obviously a big time in the game to give us those insurance runs. I put a good swing on the ball earlier in the game and it got caught out in left field so it was good to put another on and have something fall for me.”

On a tough lefty:

“I kind of over-swung on that one fastball that I swung through, so I was kind of really just conscious of slowing myself down and making sure that I put something in play and at least get a sac fly.”

On the job Santana did:

“He was awesome. He kept the ball down pretty much the whole game and he really made pitches and kept those guys off balance and that’s a dangerous lineup. They start rolling, they can really put some runs up in a hurry, so he did a great job.”

On playing defense helps keep mind off slump:

“If nothing else when you’re not swinging the bat you like to be involved in the game somehow, still making some plays on defense and helping guys get out of some innings, something you can take from every game as a positive.”

On breaking through:

“You don’t have to think about it anymore, I’m 0-for-my-last-this-or-that, not that it affects my approach at all but it’s always in the back of every hitters mind so.”

FREDI GONZALEZ

On Santana:

“It was a great effort by Santana. Went 6 2/3 innings, gave up two runs early and kept it right there. Our offense scored two runs on some miscues but our situational hitting was good. They played the infield back both times and we got groundballs and got those two runs in and we hung around and Justin Upton hits a two-run double and then we put a big number up in the eighth inning.”

On how deep he got into the game to rest bullpen:

“That’s what we were looking for, that kind of outing, to save the bullpen and you’re thinking about playing the next game. offensively we did a nice job so we didn’t have to use Walden and Kimbrel and Varvaro and those guys.”

On scoring runs behind Santana:

“That inning in the seventh inning Avi got out with Mayberry, runners second and third in the seventh inning to keep it a two-run game to break it open there in the eighth inning.”

On La Stella breaking hitless streak with triple:

“That was a great at-bat against a tough, tough left-hander. To get a bases-clearing triple off of Bastardo, it’s something that hopefully catapults him into better and better at-bats because he is one of the premiere left-handers in our league.”

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