Braves quotes after Saturday’s 11-inning loss to Nats

— quotes compiled by David O’Brien and Chris Vivlamore

Braves quotes from Freddie Freeman, James Russell, B.J. Upton, Aaron Harang and manager Fredi Gonzalez after Saturday’s 11-inning loss to the Nationals.

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On lengthy delay and decision to start so late

“It’s the major leagues. There was a clearing behind (the storm). It’s a tough situation for everybody. It really is. We came out of the shoot playing pretty good baseball. Let’s start with that. (Aaron) Harang gave us a heck of an opportunity. It’s the 11th inning and two in the morning, or whatever it was, you forget how well Harang pitched.

“We didn’t swing the bats particularly well. They didn’t either. You get into an extra-inning game and they got three runs. They got three runs late off of us. I don’t think anything about the particular starting time. You’ve got to be ready in the major leagues to play. Sure we wanted to start at 7:05 put it’s Mother Nature. You can’t judge what is going on.”

On using Russell to face one batter, a lefty, despite his far superior stats vs. righties

“That is what we got him for. The situation to get one left-hander out, to get (Bryce) Harper out, who hadn’t been particularly swinging the bat well this series. We end up walking Harper there. We bring in (Anthony) Varvaro with the bases loaded and (Wilson) Ramos blooped one in there and they got more runs on (Kevin) Frandsen’s double.”

On Varvaro’s rough stretch

“Yeah, everybody goes through some stuff. He’s been pretty good for us. We’ll pick our spots and keep running him out there.”

On Tanner Roark

“We had in that one inning we scored on him. We had the bases loaded and nobody out. (Jason) Heyward got the sacrifice fly and that’s all we got. We had an opportunity with first and second and one out and we execute the bunt. If we get the bunt it’s second and third and maybe you squeeze a run in there.”

**AARON HARANG

On the loss

“It’s tough, especially against a team we know we are trying to make a run on. To sit through that four-hour delay and not be able to pull it off — we have to forget about it and we have a game later tonight.”

On lengthy delay

“They shut me down with enough time so I wasn’t fully warm. I just hung out in here and tried to keep my mind mentally ready to go out and pitch.”

On whether he was surprised game started that late

“It’s tough. Sometimes you sit here when you have that long of a delay, you just have to keep mentally focused. There is a chance we are going to have to play. We played them tough. We got out of some situations but they were able to get out of some situations as well.”

**FREDDIE FREEMAN

On game starting at 10:51 p.m. after 3:41 rain delay

“From a players’ aspect, it was kind of shocking a little bit. It’s definitely tough to get hot, then sit down for four hours and try to get hot again. But it’s our job and we still went out there and gave it our all.”

On losing the way you did

“We lost with our best asset of our team. Our pitching staff is our best thing, and when you lose with them you can’t really get upset because they pick us up and carry us the whole year. So it’s bound to happen, and it will probably happen again. But as an offense we’ve got to do a better job of getting more than one run.”

On Harang

“He’s phenomenal. He does it every five days, he goes out there, he’s a veteran guy and he battles all night long. He gives us seven innings every five days it seems like, and gives us a chance to win. And he deserved a lot better than he got tonight.”

**JAMES RUSSELL

With your lefty-righty splits, are you surprised he brought you in to face the one lefty there?

“No, it’s my job. That’s why I’m here. I’m supposed to get those guys out. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. I’m not used to really pitching at 2 in the morning, but it’s still something you’ve got to do no matter what. I don’t know, splits – I don’t really read too much into it. It just comes down to quality pitches.”

Remember facing Harper before (2-for-2 with a walk before Saturday)

“Maybe once before. I know I haven’t really faced him too many times. He laid off some good pitches. Tip your hat. We’ll get ‘em next time.”

**B.J. UPTON

Surprised to start game so late?

“Absolutely. We’ve got some momentum going after the game last night. They came out of the rain delay (Friday) and made it tight, but we came out with a win. And for us to sit around virtually four hours, when it’s been raining all day, and kind of force the issue, it kind of blows my mind. Especially when they could possibly give us an extra day to kind of build on things. I don’t think we ever saw that coming, for us to start a game at close to 11 o’clock and getting out of here at 3 o’clock (a.m.), that’s … I’ve never seen it. I haven’t been around the longest, but that’s definitely a first for me.”

After two hours pass, are you thinking at some point they’re going to postpone game?

“Yeah, definitely at some point. Especially when it rained the way it did. You’re thinking they’re likely to call it eventually, but obviously not. It comes to around 11 o’clock, and it’s not like we were in the middle of a game and had to restart it. The first pitch hadn’t been thrown yet. I think it definitely caught us by surprise a little bit, but I think we’ve just got to deal with it and move on, and get ready to play tomorrow.”