Braves quotes from Jonny Gomes, Williams Perez and Fredi Gonzalez after the Braves’ 15-4 loss to the Yankees Friday night.
On Williams Perez’s struggles
“Both times, in the first and second innings, he got two quick outs, and then the inning unraveled on him both times. That’s one of those things we need to work on. One of those things that young starting pitchers go through, they get two quick outs and then they just can’t finish an inning. And that’s, for me, what happened to him. He’s a guy who’s a sinkerballer contact guy, and he just got deep in counts, I think he walked three guys, and then he gave up some hits to some pretty good hitters that you can’t get behind in the count against.”
Could it be fatigue, after he missed the five weeks on the DL?
“You would think it would be the other way, he would be strong after missing a month. No, I think it’s just a matter of, it’s just a young pitcher we’re running out there.”
Confidence maybe an issue at this point?
“I don’t think so. No. I mean, you would see it right away if it’s confidence. He gets the first two outs both innings and then can’t get out of it.”
“He had a nice offensive night, didn’t give any at-bats away. I think his last at-bat might have been his best one, he battled against a tough left-hander and was able to get on.”
How did you get to point of using Gomes to pitch in the ninth?
“You don’t want to (use) more pitching. You’ve got Peter Moylan out there, who shouldn’t pitch against left-handed hitters. And then you’ve got Vizcaino and Jackson, and maybe that’s the only three guys you’ve got for tomorrow. It’s not a good feeling. I know Jonny was having a good time out there, but you sit in the dugout and you always think that somebody in that position is going to get hurt, and then even worse you would have to bring in Jackson anyway to get him out of the inning. But he got through it, he didn’t get hurt – that’s the first thing I asked him when he came off the field, are you OK? Because that’s always my biggest worry when you put a position player out there.”
Four of your young pitchers haven’t gotten through fifth inning in past eight games; how much longer can you go like this, do you have to change something in rotation? I know you don’t have many options….
“Exactly. So you’ve just got to keep running them out there. It’s not easy, but in the long run I think they’ll be better off for it.”
On how he ended up pitching the ninth inning
“I told Fredi early, I’ve got an inning in me, when things started not going our way. I figured if I could take one inning, then I’d do it, let our (bullpen) guys sit back and laugh at me instead of grinding like they’ve been grinding.”
Looked like you had some fun out there, too
“Yeah, if I ever get on the mound and it’s serious, we’re in a lot of trouble. First time I’ve ever been on the mound. Not like the Little League pitcher guy. I mean, I caught the majority of the way up, so it’s the first time I’ve ever thrown to a batter (in a game).”
“It’s tough. That ball comes back hot (off the bat). So with that being said, I’m glad I came out unscathed.”
Could it be good to allow the team to smile a little late in a rout like that?
“Yeah, any time you’re between the lines in a big-league ballgame it’s not really a laughing matter. With that being said, it doesn’t take the loss out of that loss column, but hopefully there’s a couple of chuckles and kind of get your head out of the sand for a minute. But at the same time, this is a business.”
What were you throwing? Because some pitches were registered as knuckleballs on Gameday (online site).
“Yeah, that would be a big-league knuckleball velocity. I wasn’t going to light up the radar gun, on purpose. I just grabbed it four-seam and threw it right down the middle. I throw batting practice in the offseason to people. It looked like batting practice the first couple of batters. But yeah, I was just throwing it right down the middle.”
You tipped your cap to the Yankee dugout at one point
“Yeah, out of respect to them. I understand their at-bats count. Every single one counts. I wasn’t trying to do anything tricky. I knew they took their at-bats serious. Just out of respect, I tipped my hat to them to, I guess, go along with the shenanigans, if you will.”
On Gregorius three-run homer in first
“I tried to throw that pitch inside, but the pitch came to the middle. The second inning, same thing – I get the first two outs. I’m comfortable getting the first two outs. I don’t know what happened after that.
“So, just keep working to get better.”
Are you still trying to get it back since the DL, the way you pitched before you got hurt?
“I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. I’m trying to figure it out, trying to get better for my next start.”
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