Braves quotes after Monday’s 1-0 loss to Pirates

— quotes compiled by David O’Brien and Chris Vivlamore

**FREDDIE FREEMAN

Was Liriano effectively wild tonight?

“Yes. It seemed like he’d fall behind 3-1, then he’d make the 3-2 slider work, then he’d trick us and throw us heaters. He was not throwing heaters early on in the game, and then all of a sudden the second or third time around he just changed up his whole game plan. It was different from when we faced him in Pittsburgh, when he threw a lot of heaters early and we were able to get to him. We just weren’t able to make adjustments all the way through the game. He made adjustments on us before we could get to him. But he was effectively wild. He’s a good pitcher. He doesn’t have a 3.3 (ERA) for no reason.”

Couple of early walks, did you feel like you guys had a chance to get to him?

“Yeah, that’s how we feel every day. We always seem to have a couple of guys on, we just never can get the big hit. Just same story, different day. We’ve got six games left. Hopefully we can score some runs so we don’t go really insane in the offseason.”

On Harang’s season

“That’s just unbelievable. I’m starting to feel bad. He makes one mistake and loses 1-nothing. He deserves a win. He’s been unbelievable all season long, and he’s got one more start, so hopefully we can redeem ourselves and get him a win in his last start.”

Do you just have to focus at this point on trying to get a .500 record?

“Yeah, that’s what I’m playing for. And I think everybody in this room wants to be able to look at himself in the mirror after 162 and say I gave it my all in all every single game. That’s what you’ve got to play for, and you’ve got to play for these guys in here because our starting pitchers and bullpen and everybody is going out there and giving it their all, and we’ve got to do it as an offense as well. We’ve got six games left to try to make something happen, and we’ve got to come out on a positive note with these last six games.”

**AARON HARANG

Nothing much you can do more than that, just have to walk away feeling good about your performance?

“You know what, I’d much rather pitch in games like that. Those are fun games to pitch in. I told myself, hey, can’t let Russel and you can’t let ‘Cutch (McCutchen) freaking beat you. I mean I got 2-0, I had to come back and throw him something close to the plate. I was trying to throw him a back-door sinker. The ball didn’t sink, it just tailed and came back over the middle of the plate. That’s why he was an MVP last year – the guy doesn’t miss mistakes. So you’ve got to give him a lot of credit, and you’ve got to give Liriano credit too. He pitched himself out of some jams where, I mean, we had opportunities to get some runs and he was able to pitch out of it.”

On his season, have to be pleased with how you’ve done, right?

“It feel awesome. I went from the first day of spring training not even having a job, to getting a minor league invite (with Cleveland), to ending up coming over here and pitching the way I have. So, you know, it makes you feel good that you kind of look at last year as one of those off years, there was a lot of movement (between teams) and just never fully got comfortable in one spot. The minute I got here everybody had open arms, I was able to find a place to live and get settle in real easily. That makes it a lot easier.”

Would you like to come back here next season; they should be due to score about 2,000 runs? (kidding)

“I mean, obviously it depends on what they have going on. Right now they’re looking for the next GM, so it’ll be one of those things, waiting game to see what happens. I’ve loved it here, my family loved it here, and a good group of guys in the clubhouse. Good fans. They keep the energy going. So yeah, it’s one of those things, sit back and wait and see what happens.”

Santana said last night it’s been harder to pitch knowing your team might not score

“That type of situation, you’ve got to go out and control what you can control, is what it comes down to. And you know, after the ball’s released it’s out of your control. So I’ve got to go out and execute pitchers and keep us in the game. And when you do that you’re going to win the tough…. You’re going to have those tough-luck losses, but you’re also going to have the ones where you’ve got a laugher game where they score 10 runs, but your guys are battling for you and come back and score 10 runs too. So there’s a lot of give and take.

“The biggest thing is going out, taking the ball every fifth day, going as deep as I can and giving us an opportunity to win. I mean, I had a manager tell me that – if you just stay right in the middle, never get too high or too low, you’re going to have a long career. And I mean, obviously, I’ve been fortunate to be around as long as I have. I’ve been on some good teams, I’ve been on some bad teams, I’ve been on some teams where we run into bad luck. That’s what makes this game fun, there’s a lot of luck involved. There’s balls falling in, then there’s balls getting caught that are hit well. But that’s what makes it fun. When you’re out here having fun, that’s the good part. When you’re not having fun, it’s time to go find something else to do.’

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On getting early walks against Francisco Liriano

“I thought we had a good approach early on. He ended up 80-some pitches by the fifth inning. Then he had an easy sixth. We had a good approach. We had some people on base. He was effectively wild. He would get deep in counts and all of a sudden throw a back-door slider on some of those right-hand hitters and lock them up. So, those guys if you get people on and don’t score they have a tendency to hang around. Next thing you know you get into their bullpen which is maybe one of the best bullpens in baseball, underrated, and you are up against it. (Aaron) Harang, you can’t ask for any more than that. That’s one hell of an outing. He goes seven innings and he gives up a solo home run. And they made it stand. Their bullpen made it stand.

On Harang’s professionalism considering events of the day

“You know what, that stuff doesn’t bother him. He’s been around so much and he’s probably seen a lot of stuff going on. I didn’t have any doubt in my mind that he would give us a good outing.”

On Harang making most of his season

“This is his 32nd or 33rd start. He’s got another one. You can’t ask for anything more. He has pitched better than a No. 5 guy. Some nights, like tonight, he’s pitched like a middle to top of the rotation type guy. Good for him. A lot of people didn’t give him an opportunity. We did and he’s taken advantage of it.

On scoring 15 runs in past 10 games, could you have imagined that?

“No. You can’t. You would think you would get a bad hop or a ball thrown away with the bases-loaded and one out and score two or three runs. It’s been hard scoring runs.”

On whether players were distracted by events of the day

“No, not at all. They were as focused as professional hitters are. We just didn’t score any runs today.”