— quotes compiled by Thomas Stinson and David O’Brien
Braves quotes from Justin Upton, Chris Johnson, Julio Teheran and manager Fredi Gonzalez, and also from Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, after Atlanta was no-hit by four Philadelphia pitchers Tuesday.
On whether he believed Cole Hamels could pull together such a game after walking so many and putting runners on base in the early going.
“Well, you know what. He wound up walking five total? He wasn’t sharp. He wasn’t his Cole Hamel-self and I don’t know whether that worked for him, that he wasn’t as sharp as he has been. But he walked walk five. Into the seventh inning, it’s a 2-0 and you fell, OK, we got a chance here. And then that seventh inning, they got three runs and then were able to add on after that.”
“C.J. had a good at-bat and Marlon Byrd made a nice play, a diving play that could have scored two runs. But I thought Cole was … I thought we had good at-bats. He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him. We’ve seen him go 100 pitches, go nine-inning complete game. We got him out of there in the sixth with 100-plus. But, you know, they no-hit us. We got no hits. We had some opportunities. We has some people on base early against Cole and we didn’t cash in.”
Were you surprised the Phillies went to closer Jonathan Papelbon in a non-save situation?
“No, not at all. I hadn’t pitched … I think he’s pitched one time in the last six days, I think I saw in our report. So, not at all.”
Jake Diekman and Ken Giles are also very tough in their bullpen
“That’s their M.O. They get a lead and if there starters got deep in the ball game, they can even run (Antonio) Bastardo out there with those guys and then give the ball to Papelbon. But we’ve played three games and scored one run and won one of those games. So go back out there tomorrow and start swinging the bats.”
You had that five-game win streak where it looked like you had some things going offensively. How much of a step back has thing been or has it been surprising to you that offense has struggled?
“If you look at some of those guys, the guy who been throwing at us is a pretty good group of starters. And both teams (Marlins and Phillies), they get the lead, they have a chance to run a pretty good bullpen at you. But the game of baseball is kind of funny. You feel like you’re in good stride and all of a sudden, you go through a stretch one one run 27 innings and you’re lucky enough to win one of those games.”
Julio Teheran has been so good at home, today was obviously the exception to the rule. What did you see from him today?
“I saw Julio battle. I saw him compete against a guy who was throwing a no-hitter, throwing a shutout against him. And he gave up two runs, gave up one early on a sac fly. He battled. Again, that seventh inning started and we just couldn’t get him out of there. If we goes 1-2-3 in that seventh inning and all of a sudden, it’s a two-run game, it’s a different game. But they were able to put up a crooked number there.”
Was (Ben) Revere’s triple so hard-hit or did Jason have some trouble with the sun there?
“No, I think that ball split that gap about as perfect as you can have it done.”
You were very aggressive on the basepaths, especially early.
“Jason had three stolen bases and Boni came back as a trail runner. But yeah, we had people on base early on in the game.”
Was Justin OK?
“Yeah, yeah. You know, the score what it was, get Constanza in there. Down the road, he maybe be a guy who can pinch-hit for us and get him an at-bat. Also, if we would have extended that inning there, (Ramiro) Pena was on deck for (Andrelton) Simmons, try to get him an at-bat. At far as health-wise, he was fine.”
You got your call-ups into the game late. Was this a situation where you know what they can do, you just want to see where they are right now?
“Well, I didn’t want to use anyone else. The game was 5-0 at the time and I didn’t want to go into our (regular) guys. You give (Chasen) Shreve an opportunity to face some left-handers and you give (Juan) Jaime a chance to get back in there.”
Does a no-hitter feel any different than a loss, or any other loss?
“No, you know what? It’s still a loss. Sure, it’s a feat that hasn’t been done very often, when you go four combined pitchers to throw a no-hitter. But it’s still a loss.”
On Hamels and why he was so effective
“I think we let him off the hook a little bit early. We had a chance and just couldn’t capitalize on it. And once he got past that third inning he started throwing the ball where he wanted to. That cutter and that sinker, both in. You didn’t know which way it was going to go, whether it was going in on your hands or back towards the plate. I think that one pitch alone today, plus the change-up, was the reason why he was so good.”
Did having so many baserunners early make what happened later more frustrating
“Absolutely. Any time we have good at-bats and guys work the count, and J-Hey with great baserunning, stealing bases and stuff, and we just couldn’t come up with that hit. I had a couple of two-out opportunities, hit one right at them and then Marlon Byrd made a good play on the next one. So … whatever.”
Does being no-hit feel like a no-hitter regardless of whether it’s one pitcher or several doing it to you?
“It just feels like a loss, no matter if we get 20 hits or zero hits. We lost one, we’ll come out tomorrow and try to win one.”
Do you think it could’ve been a completely different game if you get one to fall in the first or third innings?
“Absolutely. Because we had a couple of guys in scoring position, we would have had a couple of runs. Just wasn’t our day offensively, and hopefully tomorrow we can turn it on.”
On Byrd’s diving catch
“I was just hoping it would get down. He’s a pretty good outfielder, the ball just stayed up a little bit. That was a good play.”
Can you walk away from this like it’s no different than any other loss?
“You have to. Especially in this game. We play tomorrow. So, we lost a game. I’m sure it’s cool for them, for a no-hitter. But it’s just a loss for us. Tomorrow we try to come back and win a ballgame.”
On being pinch-hit for in the ninth inning by Jose Constanza
“Skip (Fredi Gonzalez) thought it was a good time to take me off the field. So be it.”
On being no-hit by Phillies
“A loss is a loss, whether we get no-hit or get 20 hits, same thing.”
Does it feel any different being no-hit by one pitcher or by four?
“I don’t think it feels like anything. I think we’re all out there trying to compete and battle. We obviously know we don’t have any hits, but that’s not on our minds. We’re trying to, early on, win a ballgame. And then later on as the game got going we’re down by five runs, you’re trying to scrap a few runs across.”
Did you think you had a good chance early when you had several base runners?
“Yeah, he walked a few guys and gave us an opportunity, especially early on when Jason and Boni stole the bags. With less than two outs we were getting runners in scoring position. I feel like we should execute in those situations, but we didn’t, and it kind of steamrolled from there.”
Were you surprised when Fredi came to you to pinch-hit for you in 9th, or expecting it?
“No, I wasn’t expecting it. But he came to me, obviously we’ve got some guys up here who haven’t had at-bats, so he said we really want to get Constanza an at-bat, that could be huge for us in the next couple of days if he has to get an at-bat (in big situation).”
On his outing
“I got in trouble a couple of times and tried to get out of it. The last inning I just tried to pick my team up, and I wasn’t able to do it.”
On Revere’s triple to the gap
“I think it was the perfect pitch to him, but it wasn’t the right location. But that’s part of the game. I tried to make my pitch, but I wasn’t able to do it.”
Pitched so well at home all season, anything different today with the heat or anything else?
“No. I was (managing) the heat. If you play here that’s something you’ve got to be used to. I felt alright. Just trying to do the same things I’ve done all year. One mistake cost me a couple of runs. Everything was going their way today. Nothing we can do about it.”
Thoughts on notion of being able to finish the game
“You just have to understand the situation, that every time I was going out, I was battling the control issues. I wasn’t able to get ahead of guys. Just walking the leadoff hitter will put you in a lot of trouble. And it does. It builds up your pitch-count more than you’d like. So I understood coming around the sixth inning that it was going to be a short game. Understanding the situation and what was going on, I really wasn’t too worried about it, because we’re just trying to win the game.
“I have the utmost respect and faith in the bullpen because they’ve been outstanding all year.”
“It’s nice to be able to see what we were able to do together. It was. It was fun to be able to watch them and create something very special.”
Did you think you’d get another inning?
“I think coming around the fifth inning and seeing where my pitch-count was, I knew that every pitch really kind of mattered. Just the way that I went out into that sixth inning and struggled again with locating, I was having to battle every single pitch. I really wasn’t in synch. So knowing what was at stake, it wasn’t the end of the world. I felt confident. I was just trying to enjoy the moment as much as possible and I’m happy the outcome came out the way that it because this is truly one of the better experiences you can have in this situtation because it was a whole complete team effort.
“Most of the time when you see one of these events happens, it’s knid of one or two people, a great play. This really took four outstanding pitchers to be able to go out there, a great game called by (Ruiz) and some big plays in the outfield with Marlon. It was a full team effort and I think that we can all really enjoy it that much more for what it means and what it means to the organization.”
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