Clubhouse comments after Sunday’s 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins:
Manager Fredi Gonzalez
On Alex Wood’s eight innings of shutout pitching, including a bases-loaded escape in the sixth.
“The sixth inning when he got himself out facing their top hitters, boy, that was some kind of performance by Woody.
“Wow. For me that’s the best performance I saw. Matches his career high in strikeouts, goes to 10-10 and after we get shut out yesterday he shuts out the Marlins. And we get the series win.
On Wood’s confidence in his secondary pitches, the change-up and slow curve.
“He was able to have enough confidence to throw it down to Stanton (to strike out the RBI leader Giancarlo Stanton with the bases loaded). And he made an unbelievable pitch to McGehee on 3-2 to lock him up (to strike out the Marlins clean-up hitter).
“You see a lot of growth. There’s always a competitive fire in him, that’s one thing you can count on. He’ll be here at 7 tomorrow morning getting his work in and preparing for his next start.
“He competes, he prepares, he’ll beat me in tomorrow I can almost assure you of that and he’ll be ready to go for his next start.”
On his confidence in this young starter.
“You have enough confidence in him he’s going to make the right pitches. They may hit one out of the ballpark or they may split a gap but you feel confident he’s going to make the right pitches and he’s going to compete in those situations. You don’t have to worry about going to get him, you don’t have to worry about is he going to spook. That’s a nice quality to have as a young pitcher.”
Any thoughts to letting him try for a complete game?
“I was hoping we’d score three or four runs just to give him the opportunity to go out there in the ninth inning and have a complete-game shutout. But when you have arguable the best closer in the game, and he’s at 100 pitches at the time and after that sixth inning when he got himself out of that jam, I thought it was the perfect time to get him out of there.”
On rookie Phil Gosselin’s start at third base, and his three hits.
“You know, you pop him in there every once in a while and he gives you good at-bats. I’m always looking to get him in there someplace for him to help out.”
On the strange offensive nature of this 1-0 game.
“We had baserunners. I don’t know we left on seven or eight — I don’t know off the top of my head (11, actually). We got 11 hits ourselves, they got 6 and we only one run scored. It’s one of those scratch-you-head type games but I’m glad we’re able to talk about it and kind of laugh about it because we won.”
Catcher Evan Gattis
On his pitcher.
“Tight game, any mistake at any given time the game can change. He competed, the 3-1 change up then the 3-2 breaking ball to McGehee — a huge situation. He just went out there and pitched like it was no big deal, just competing. He was fired up. Outstanding.
“It was one of his best. I’ve seen him really good before but this was one of the best. Even in bullpen just warming up, everything was just sharp.”
On his approach against Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi, off whom he homered in the second.
“I just wanted to be aggressive with him. I didn’t want to get caught in between. I didn’t want to take any heaters for strikes; I thought that would be my best chance (he hit a first-pitch fastball).”
Starter Alex Wood
“It was a good way to get into double digits (in wins) finally.”
When did he know this could be a special outing?
“I knew from the get-go for the most part — Gatti had a good game plan, and it was neat to have all three (pitches) working like I did tonight. I’m usually pretty competitive then.”
After getting out of the bases-loaded jam in the sixth?
“I was pretty jacked up. That was one inning we got off just a little bit and got right back to it.
“To McGehee (a strikeout looking), the 3-1 changeup and the 3-2 breaking ball, if I don’t have all three going that doesn’t happen. At 3-1, I thought he was swinging for sure, but he took the change-up. At 3-2, I thought he was hacking. If I didn’t think I had command of all three, I might have thrown another change-up or just a sinker away and hope he hits it at somebody. That’s the advantages you have when you have all three working, throwing for strikes.”
“(Stanton and McGehee) are their RBI guiys, you got to make pitches. I was at the point where I wasn’t going to let them beat me. If I walked them, I walked them and start over with the next guy. It was one of those things I didn’t want to let either of those guys beat me and fortunately things turned our way.”
On whether he was hoping for a complete game.
“I would have liked to go back out there, but that’s the nature of the beast when you have the best closer in baseball.”
He best outing as a Brave?
“It’s up there. I think the significance of it is that we’re in the playoff hunt; I think that plays a big part in it. If we weren’t in the playoff hunt, it would still be up there. It was definitely a big win for us.”