Braves quotes from Alex Wood, Cameron Maybin, Jason Grilli, Freddie Freeman and Fredi Gonzalez after Sunday’s sweep-completing loss to Nationals.
On losing second day in a row after coming back from early deficit, and actually taking lead this time
“You know what, we probably should be leading from the very beginning – we misplay a ball in center field, costs us three runs (in the first inning). But I thought Woody was terrific. We came back and scraped against a tough pitcher, Zimmerman. They got him out of there after the sixth inning and it was … we didn’t give any ABs away. None whatsoever. We came back and scratched, and Woody was a bulldog on the mound. He was in line to get the win. We’ve got to mix and match out of the bullpen and we just haven’t been able to do it.”
More on Wood settling down after first inning
“Really impressive, and he helped himself with the bat. He’s been working extremely hard swinging the bat, extra batting practice and all that kind of stuff. Again, you’ve got to get 27 outs, and we only got 24 of them. But we battled. Every single game we battle. I’m proud of the club for that.”
Jim Johnson was held back to close today if needed?
“Yeah, Jason (Grilli) is battling some back spasms the last couple of days, so he wasn’t available again. He is getting better. He’s getting closer. We’ll see how quickly we get him on the field.”
On Wood in the first inning
“We catch a ball in center field, they don’t score three runs. The inning’s over. But it just continues. Woody was really, really good after that. To go out and pitch – what did he go, 6 2/3 innings, and 100 pitches? — he did terrific. That was a nice start for him to build on, for his next one.”
More on the offense
“Every single guy battled. Peterson, first and second with nobody out, he hits a rocket facing a tough left-hander, and Danny (Uggla) makes a great play. If that balls splits the gap we’ve got a chance to add on. So yeah, I’m really proud of our team, battling and scratching and clawing every single at-bat for every single run.”
On being swept, but having chances to win the last two games of series
“You always have chances, and we know we didn’t do it. But I like the way our club’s battled. You lick your wounds a little bit and then go on to Cincinnati and hopefully win two out of three there or even sweep them, and continue on this road trip.”
After first inning you settled down and really had a strong start, did you feel like you made a lot of progress today?
“Yeah, me personally, without a doubt. The first inning, I thought I made a mistake or two, but I also thought they hit some good pitches as well. They came out hot, and to have that happen after the last one – talk about your back against the wall. But luckily I was able to respond. Some of the adjustments that Roger and I made since the last start were working out pretty good.”
Can you remember your last three-hit game as a hitter?
“Oh, God. High school, easily. And they didn’t come very often in high school, either. It’s been a long time.”
On settling in after first inning, pitching so well rest of the way
“For me, from a pitching standpoint, now it’s just about finding that consistency and working off the things I was able to do today.”
Can you guys take some positives from this series despite getting swept, with the comebacks you made last two days?
“Yeah, anybody that watched all three of those games, I mean, you’ve got to love watching this team, man. There’s no give up in anybody in this clubhouse. It doesn’t matter what the score is, where we are or who we’re playing. You’ve got 25 guys who are going out there grinding and playing their butts off from start to finish. As teammates and as fans watching the game, it’s hard not to love and get behind a group of guys like that.”
How much better to you feel about your progress
“That’s the hard part, sometimes in games like this you feel like you could have done a little bit more early. You think about lots of things. Today is still a loss. Like any loss, it’s one of those things where you’ve got to wake up and come play again tomorrow, and from a personal standpoint it’s good and hopefully I’ll be able to build off today.”
On taking some positives despite being swept, including coming back from 3-0 deficit in 1st inning today
“We could easily have got down after the first inning. On offense we fought back again. That’s all you can really do as an offense, keep going out there, keeping trying to get some hits and score some runs, and we all know on this team the pitching will come back around.”
On Alex Wood pitching so well after the first inning
“He battled today. He settled down after the first inning and gave us some innings. I thought he pitched pretty good, kept us in the game the rest of the way.”
Going to Cincinnati’s small park after being swept, got to be happy Shelby Miller pitching tomorrow?
“Yeah, hopefully Shelby can continue what he’s done. Hopefully we can get back on the right track and get a win tomorrow. You never want to start off a road trip 0-3, but I think we’ve been playing OK, and hopefully we can continue that in Cincinnati and get some wins.”
On this year’s team coming back from early deficits
“It’s nice. Usually last year if we got down 3, 4 or 5-nothing, we’d be done. This year we’re never down. We got down 3-zero and came back, tied it up and made it a game. We’ve got to keep doing that and hopefully the wins will start coming.”
Was the sun a factor on the play in center field in first inning?
“No. I make that play nine out of 10 times. I ran a long way. Me and (outfield instructor) Bo (Porter) talked about it, I went up with two hands. I should have just went up with one hand. Whenever you go up with two hands, you tend to block your view. I went up with two hands and should have went up with one. I know they gave him a hit, great swing, but that’s why they put me out there. There’s a lot of room out there to run. That’s a play I make nine out of 10 times, man. A routine play, and I’ve got to make it. No excuses – no sun. That’s all on me.”
On Wood pitching so well after the first inning
“He’s an awesome guy. Especially after that first inning, man, we gave him some runs and he just did a great job bearing down and making his pitches. Him and Bets (Bethancourt) are on a really good page, and he swung the bat pretty well, too.
“We’ve just got to keep going, man. These guys are playing pretty good baseball right now. I fee like we’re playing pretty good baseball, too. They were just able to finish. We’ve just got to finish (games) the rest of this road trip.”
On his back spasms
“I’m here and I’m trying to get myself as ready as possible.”
Did you make progress today with rehab?
When did it start?
“It’s tough to say. It’s tough to pinpoint when these things really happen. We all have nicks, bruises and scratches. If I complained about everything that we feel – soreness, this and that – you guys would have have a full report. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, we’re here to talk about winning ballgames.”
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