WASHINGTON — Braves quotes from Christian Bethancourt, Cody Martin, Julio Teheran, Kelly Johnson and Fredi Gonzalez after Saturday’s loss to the Nationals.
Pitch to Harper not that bad, but a walkoff homer anyway
“I just watched a video of it. (The pitch) really wasn’t terrible. He put a good swing on it. It caught a lot more plate that we wanted; we were trying to go away, back-door him. It kind of came back a little, but it was, like, shin-high. He went down and put a good swing on it. Credit to him.”
Tough to find a way to him out right now?
“He’s the hottest player in the world right now. He’s putting good swings on everything, seeing the ball well. His balance is good, you can’t really do any one thing that’s going to get him out. I think you’ve just got to keep mixing it up, and that just wasn’t the right pitch today, I guess.”
And he comes up with a runner on base, so you need to go at him, right?
“Yeah, definitely. I thought I wanted to work in. Threw the first pitch in; it was a bad pitch, not really any purpose to it. And then slider away, I thought maybe he’d take that and try to get a fastball. But good piece of hitting.”
On coming back from 6-1 late-innings deficit to tie before losing
“It was a good rally, especially because it was a little flat. And to have that big inning and come back…. Christian played great, got some big hits. Cam (Maybin). God, man, it was fun to see that. It’s too bad we couldn’t have been on the end of that, walking them off.”
On Bryce Harper coming into his own now, if he hasn’t already
“It’s hard to say otherwise. The guy’s got all the home runs, he’s got almost as many walks as hits, and RBIs for that matter. I mean, he’s doing well, he’s locked in right now. He’s got so much talent, when he’s on, it’s … it’s like that.”
On his strong throw to the plate to nail runner trying to score from second on Uggla’s single in eighth
“Had a good shot to get him, the ball one-hopped, a line drive, so I was able to get rid of it quick. Christian made a great play. At first I didn’t think it was too off-line. It really wasn’t, but Christian made an unbelievable play. The guy wasn’t getting his feet down on the plate and Christian made a tag on him. He gets a ton of credit for that. I just got rid of it as quickly as I could.”
Can you take some positives from this – couple of big hits, a nice tag at the plate?
“Yeah, like you say, a couple of good hits, tied the ballgame, had a good tag. But the most important thing is, we didn’t get the win. Got to give credit to the Nats, especially Harper. That was a tough pitch that he hit out. Can’t do anything about it.”
On Teheran’s performance
“It was a tough outing for him. I mean, he made some really good pitches. He was getting the ball down, he was pounding the zone with his slider. They were just working in the zone. They’ve been hitting the ball really hard. Basically we couldn’t do anything about it, we’ve just got to keep executing pitches and stay positive. We can’t give up; it’s too early in the season. We’ll have a chance to get back on track with them.”
On the late-innings rally
“We got back in the game late. That was nice to see from the guys. We’ve been battling the whole season, and we’re going to keep battling until the last day of the season.”
On team showing some fight coming back from big deficits
“Unbelievable fight, especially in the eighth inning. We had a lot of great at-bats in the eighth inning. Callaspo, he battled and battled. Bethancourt, who hasn’t really been swinging a hot bat, he ties the ballgame with a double. Really proud of our offense. You know what, I’m really proud of our club, that we go out and our starter gives up six runs, and we came back. Our bullpen gave us a chance to win the ballgame and we didn’t, but I’m really proud of the way we battled back.”
Pitch on Harper’s walkoff home run didn’t look like it was a bad pitch
“It was a breaking ball, I thought Bethancourt was almost going to pick it in the dirt. But when a guy is going that good, that hot, you’re almost going to have to bounce it there, and maybe even then he could hit it out of the ballpark.”
On Lobaton matchup vs. Teheran
“You see the matchup, the swings the time before, and the whole time coming in here this morning you’re going, he’s going to be in the lineup. Sure enough, he was. He got a big home run and another hit off of Julio.”
On Bryce Harper, you just going up against the best player in the world at his age right now?
“Right now, no matter what age he is. He ain’t missing too many pitches. Even pretty darn good pitches. He’s swinging it really well right now. Good for them, and bad for us.”
On his performance
“I was executing pitches today. They hit some good pitches. I just battled and tried to do my best.”
Twice gave up three runs and four hits an inning today
“I was making pitches, and like I said, they had good at-bats. Two mistakes in those innings cost me a couple of runs.”
“He’s swinging really good against us. Just have to find a way to get him out.”
On his road woes
“That’s coincidence. I prepare the same way as I do at home.”
On giving up a lot of home runs recently
“The ball was running a little bit today, something that I haven’t seen before in this park. I felt good. Two mistakes cost me on longballs. Nothing you can do, just get ready for the next one.
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