Braves quotes after Monday’s win over Twins

Quotes from Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and several players following Monday's victory over the Twins at Turner Field.


On leaving Teheran in for ninth:

“I think it was good for him to experience that in the ninth inning. He had an extra day (rest) coming into that start and he’ll have an extra day coming out of that start. We took that into consideration. It was good for him to dig deep down inside the gas tank and see if he could do it. By God, he gave it a good shot.

On growth from Teheran:

“Big time and I think there is still plenty there to grow. There are still parts of his game that can get better. He’s doing a nice job. I thought Gerald (Laird) did a good job guiding him through all of those innings. I think Gerald was more disappointed he didn’t get the complete game more than Julio was because that’s how into it he was.”

On good to see starters going deeper with short bullpen:

“You’ve got to push the guys a little bit. We need to get somebody else in the game. We’ve got a couple guys down there, Carpenter and Rasmus that haven’t pitched in a while. It was nice not to use —we weren’t going to use (Craig) Kimbrel anyway—but it was nice to get a nice comfortable lead and cruise right on in.”

On Teheran can bunt, hit, do whole package:

“He’s getting better in all those aspects and I think there’s still a lot of growing to do. He’s not a finished product by any means of the imagination but it sure is nice watching him every fifth day.”

On Teheran only two walks in five starts:

“He’s throwing strikes. That’s good to see. He’ll get an extra day off the off day and run him back out there again.”

On Teheran pitching the ninth:

“I think it was good for him to experience that. He had an off day going into that start and an off day coming out of today’s start. For experience out there in the ninth inning, and maybe he was a little tired but you’ve got to dig deep a little bit. It was good for him. Roger and I talked about it. I think 125 was going to be the most we were going to go with him. I wouldn’t feel comfortable going (more). I don’t think he’s throw 125 pitches in his career. You reach a point where you start getting into some areas you don’t want to get into.”


On the outing:

“I even didn’t have my change-up but my other pitches were commanded pretty well.”

On getting an early lead:

“I feel more comfortable when they got the lead. I was trying to just go out there and make good pitches and get deep in the game like I did.”

On if he was surprised they sent him out for the ninth:

“I was excited to get my first shutout and I was trying to do what I did the whole game. I just missed that pitch.”

On how Laird helped him tonight:

“He helped me a lot. Everything he wanted to pitch, I tried not to shake him. And if I shake him, he just got me to throw what he wanted me to.”

On if shook once or twice:

“Like twice in the whole game. I did in the seventh inning and he got mad at me. I know sometimes I get confused and he helped me a lot.”

On pounding the strike zone:

“I was just trying to throw strikes, to get ahead in counts and after that just make good pitches. I didn’t try to strike them out a lot but trying to make pitches to get groundballs like I did.”

On not having changeup in the bullpen:

“I’ve been working on my changeup but in the game it wasn’t working, but my other pitches were working. So I was just trying to compete with my other pitches.”

On able to command the fastball:

“Yes I knew my fastball was good. My two-seamer, so I just tried to command my curve and my slider.”

On if ever threw 123 pitches in a game:

“Never. I wasn’t thinking about it. I was just trying to get out there and finish that inning.”

On the most pitches he’s thrown in a game:

“110 last year, I threw a complete game in Gwinnett. I wasn’t thinking I had that much because if I put that in my mind, I’d be thinking ‘oh I’m tired,’ and I don’t want to think about that. I just want to.”

On if he was surprised when they let him pitch the ninth:

“I was but I was trying to get out there. I knew I was throwing a shutout and I wanted to get it. Then when they saw my face, that I wanted to go there, they sent me.”

On four-game hitting streak by the pitchers:

“I don’t worry about pitches. I just try to put a ball in play.”

On going deep in game, given bullpen situation:

“I was talking with other guys in the bullpen and they told me they need the starting pitchers to go deep in the game because they need a little help. I was trying to work together and work for the team.”


On the early lead:

“It was definitely what you want to happen in the first inning, especially for me to get a homer and drive in some runs – it was huge for me. It was fun, got them early and Julio took care of the rest.”

On if Teheran starting to come into his own past five starts:

“Yeah, a little bit. I mean Julio he’s not one of these kids that just thinks he can throw it by everybody. He understands what it is to pitch. And he’s all about learning, so I think he’s done that this year. He’s had a couple rough outings early in the game, the first or second inning having trouble getting out of those. But he’s really beared down and paid attention to what mistakes he’s been making and he’s looked pretty good the last four or five starts.”

On if Teheran a different guy from early April:

“I think so. And given the fact that he still gave up some runs in early April, after the second inning he really battled and held them right there and gave us a chance. That says a lot about the type of competitor that he is. I think his first two starts he gave up four or five where he held them right there and we ended up coming back and winning the game. He’s a mature 22-year-old and you forget that he’s only 22. I’m impressed with him. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and he knows he’s got to keep learning and keep improving.”

On what makes him tough to hit:

“He mixes it up. He hits his spots, works inside, outside. He’s really done a great job of working both sides of the plate this year I think, mixing in his offspeed pitches when necessary. When you’re working both sides of the plate like that, you’re going to be effective.”

On scoring early, taking the pressure off, unlike Dodgers series:

“What can you say, a win is a win either way. Whether it’s done in the eighth or the ninth. We’ll take anything.”

On maybe getting that spark to get going at the plate:

“The first inning homer obviously felt great. It’s like ‘whew, finally a freaking hit.’ It was really positive for me. The way that I felt the last, my next three at-bats, even though I didn’t get anymore hits, I felt great. I felt in rhythm, I felt like I had a chance, except for that slider I struck out on. But I really felt good, comfortable.”

On going with a heavier bat:

“Yeah it felt good in flips, felt good in bp, I was like why not? It was a 34 ½ (inch), 32 (ounce).”

On what it is normally:

“33 ½, 30 ½. I’ve had it. it was always too big for me. (laughs). Who knows? We’ll see. You’ve got to change things up sometimes.”


On Teheran:

“He’s doing really well. He’s got a long ways to go but he’s definitely taking a step in the right direction every start. It seems like every start he’s getting more and more confidence and we were able to get by tonight with putting up some zeros early and that’s always a good thing. And then he just kind of found his groove.”

On partnership formed with him since spring training:

“I’m getting a good feel for what he likes to do and what he has on certain nights and what he’s struggling with like tonight we struggled a little bit with the change-up. He had his curveball going. We used that more as an offspeed slow pitch and using that slider that. And he was just moving the fastball in and out. But he’s making my job easy. He’s throwing the sinker. He used the sinker well tonight. He got some tough groundballs with Mauer and Morneau some good hitters, and the kid is just making adjustments. He’s doing a good job.”

On the sinker:

“He’s getting more and more confidence in that sinker. I think that’s the pitch that is taking him to the next level and it’s giving him some quit outs in the game. He’s throwing it a couple times behind in the count to Mauer and Morneau and they were able to roll it over to second base and get some quick outs. He’s just hitting his location and trusting his pitches.”

On getting mad at him when he shook you off:

“He shook me off like three times in one at-bat, I kept putting the same pitch down because I knew what I was trying to do. I was trying to set something else up. He kept shaking me off. I kept putting it down. I’m like, I just told him, ‘You know, dude, I had something I wanted to go with’ and I explained myself. And that’s what it takes sometimes. You’ve got to explain yourself and give him an idea what you’re thinking, and that’s how you build trust.”

On if it worked:

“Yes. Sometimes I see something back there and I really felt confident about this pitch I wanted him to make and I just kept putting it in. Sometimes they go out there and think too much and sometimes I want them to just want to rely on me a little bit and that was just one pitch I felt like we needed to make and that’s why I kept putting it down. He executed it and we got the out next pitch. It was to (Dozier) and we made some good pitches away and when you make good pitches away and they go out over the plate and foul it off, you’ve got to stand guys up. You’ve got to be able to make a pitch inside. We had a chance to waste a pitch. It was 0-2. I really felt strong about the sinker in right there. Just to straighten him out and then we could either go back down and away or go back inside. It was just one of those pitches I felt strong with and kept putting it down. But the main thing is he accepted it eventually and he made the pitch, and that’s a good sign.”

On how he felt after foul ball off the ankle:

“I feel good. It always feels good when you get a W. It hurt and they asked me if I could go, and I said ‘It’s my day to play, I’m staying in the game. I want to play.’”

On how fun it was to see Teheran get a chance in the ninth:

“Oh it was. I don’t know if I was more excited. I love catching shutouts and especially for a kid like that to, for his confidence. You know what? He did a heck of a job. I like the fact that we stuck him back out there and put him in that territory to see what he could do. He made pitches. You could tell he was getting a little bit tired but I’m proud of him. He did a good job tonight.”


On first career save:

“I didn’t realize it was even official that that was a save. That’s what the guys said. It’s pretty excited. I knew when Craig came up to me and congratulated me, I was like well that guy would know how to get a save. It was pretty cool.”