Braves quotes after Saturday’s loss to Cubs

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Scott Downs giving up 2 hits to 2 batters in eighth inning

“He’s been good and he’s going to continue to be good. We’ve got to get him those situations and get some people out, which we will.

“I thought Med was terrific. He really was. But you know what? At the end of the day we only scored one run and had five hits. We had some opportunities to add on some runs but couldn’t get those runs plated. It always seems like when you don’t get those add-on runs, it comes back to haunt you. Whether it’s in the middle innings or late in the games, it always comes back to haunt you.”

B.J.’s strikeout with bases loaded ends up being huge

“Well, there’s a couple of different situations. I thought we hit a couple of balls hard to right field that Schierholtz made some nice plays on, that had a chance to make it interesting and score some runs, and he made some nice plays. But yeah, any time you leave people on base, it seems like it always comes back to haunt you.”

On pushing for best record in NL no matter when clinch division

“Absolutely. If you look at stat sheet, we play real well at home and we want to get that home-field advantage and continue to play most of our games at home if we get that opportunity.

“But we just didn’t score any runs. Medlen gave us a good chance to win the ballgame.”

You’ve used Kimbrel once in a four-out save this season, did you consider going to him with one out in eighth?

“No, I don’t think so. I think five is pushing it, and I think we did it once with Kimbrel when we hadn’t used him in a while and we had a day off after that game. Yeah, I think five-out saves is going to be pushing it a little bit.”

What’s status of Walden and his availability?

“We’ve kind of been picking and choosing in those situations a little bit with Walden, and we’ll try to get him straightened out.”

**KRIS MEDLEN

On watching the eighth inning come apart after he left game

“It’s tough, but I’ve been a bullpen guy and I know how tough that job is. Those dudes do their best, and they’ve carried us the entire year. These things happen. Nobody in this clubhouse is panicking at all, or anything. Credit their pitcher with keeping the game close, too. Wood is having a great year.”

On his performance

“It was in my hands and I felt like the game was over, really. I mean, I had all the confidence in the world in myself, and I was just trying to make pitches. In the eighth inning I was getting up in pitch count, and I felt like if I gave up a hit I was going to be out of the game. So I was wanting to be perfect, and left one over the middle.

“For the most part, I felt like it was a successful day for myself. But that’s not all that matters.”

On trying to get on another roll before playoffs

“You don’t know when those things come. I know offensively this was a pretty tough day to hit for both sides. I didn’t mind it too much, being on the mound. But nothing was going to fly out of this park, and you could afford to be overly aggressive. Guys were going to have to string some hits together to get some runs. We got the one, and like I said, I felt the whole game that it was on my shoulders and I wasn’t going to let them score. But you get up in the pitch count and it gets pretty tough for the manager to make the decision.”

**EVAN GATTIS

On Medlen

“He threw lights-out and kept us in the game the whole time. I just feel like we missed some opportunities.”

**JUSTIN UPTON

“Our goal from Day 1 was to win the division and be able to play in October, and I don’t think anyone has gotten away from that. We stay pretty focused on our goal, and it’s just a matter of time.”

**GERALD LAIRD

On the bullpen

“We’ve benefitted from them all year. We’re not going to shut the door every time. It’s just unfortunate. They’ve had a great year.”

On Downs giving up pair of hits

“We made some pitches, they just had some good swings. Rizzo went out and got that ball, hit it down the line, and then Dioner hit that down-and-in slider. Hey, you’ve got to tip your cap to them. Those guys are big leaguers over there and they put some good swings on the ball.”

On missed scoring chances early

“Yeah, we had a chance to tack some runs on and just couldn’t hit. Wood’s been pitching good all year for them. He had that cutter coming in and that fastball away. He had command of all his pitches and he made it tough on us. We just couldn’t scratch out any more runs.”

On Medlen

“He was great. It was exactly what I expected. He’s been pitching great the last couple of months, like one of the better pitchers in baseball. It’s just a tough one, because he worked his tail off all game up to that point, and you want to get him a win. He had everything working, his fastball in and out, the great changeup like he always has, and his curveball was working today. It was just fun to be back there. He was working it really well.”

“It’s kind of weird. But if the Marlins squeak one out, hey, we’re going to the same place we would if we had won.”

On Downs

“His bread-and-butter is his sinker, and he fell behind to the first kid who kind of hit that ball in the hole (single through left side). Right there, I know it’s their best hitter but I’m going to get beat with his best pitch, and his best pitch is his sinker. He made a good pitch, Rizzo just made a good swing and it fell inside the line by a foot. That’s a young, good hitter over there and he didn’t try to do too much with it.”

**SCOTT DOWNS

On two hits he gave up, neither on poorly located pitches

“Neither one of them were bad. But it’s about results, it’s not about pitch location. Sometimes you make a good pitch that gets hit, sometimes you make bad pitches and you get them out. It’s just frustrating, the way Meds threw the ball, to come up short like that. It’s frustrating.”

On pressure situation in big game

“That’s the kind of situations you want to be in. It’s just when it goes like that in situations like this, the way he threw the ball, that’s what’s frustrating. But I mean, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. You just have to kind of turn the page and go from there. I’d love for the situation to come up again tomorrow. That’s where you want to be in the game, that’s the situation you want to be in. But it didn’t work out and I feel bad for Meds, the way he threw the ball.”

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