CHICAGO — Braves quotes from Nick Swisher, Williams Perez, Edwin Jackson, Cameron Maybin and Fredi Gonzalez after Saturday’s 9-7 loss to the Cubs.
On the Braves’ offensive output
“The bats kind of came alive tonight. We put up seven runs tonight. Got a lot of that early. It’s just a tough loss. Hasn’t been going well for us as of late, and we were going to try to get it going. We had a great start to the game.
“It’s a new group of guys. We’re all working together. We’ve kind of got to start to jell a little bit, but we’ll keep fighting.”
Encouraging day for you, first two-homer game in a couple of years?
“Yeah. You always want to win. I guess individually it was a good day, but you want to stop that losing streak, man. You want to go out there and do everything you can to put a W on the board for us. And they’ll come. We just need to keep grinding, keep battling, keep our heads up, and just keep working.”
Seems like you have some pop back in the bat, with the three homers and two doubles so far as a Brave
“It was kind of nice. My first start in the outfield, I was really geeked up to kind of go out there and provide some energy and spark for this lineup. It was just nice to be out there playing again, feeling healthy, being out there and being able to run around, and being able to do it for a full nine innings. That’s encouraging for myself, but the bottom line boils down to, we want to win. That’s it. We’ve got to start winning.”
On the windy conditions, homers to the baskets above the fence
“The wind was really blowing today. How many home runs did they hit, four? If those baskets aren’t there, we catch three of them. But I guess this ballpark plays a little differently on different days. Man, the atmosphere was electric. It’s just so great to be out there again.”
On tying Teixeira for most all-time games with homer from each side (14)
“Back in the day they didn’t have as many pitching changes, so it was a lot harder for guys like Mantle (to homer from each side). But for us, with the matchups and things like that, they’re mixing and matching guys all the time. You’ve got Joe (Maddon) over there, you know he’s going to bring everybody out. So for us, in today’s game, we have more opportunities than they would way back then. So we definitely have the advantage.”
On the loss
“For me (it demonstrated) the importance of the shutdown inning. We get two runs, they come out and score one. We get five — I don’t remember the last time we scored five in one game, let alone in one frame – and they got right back in it. That (Cubs’ four runs in the fifth and sixth innings) was the two biggest innings of the whole game.”
Swisher two homers, a five-run inning still not enough
“What were there, six home runs? They got four, we got two. Ball was carrying. You could tell before the game started with the flags blowing out. The two home runs that Jackson gave up, those are fly balls that just kept carrying.”
Perez got out of repeated jams before DL stint, now seems like he’s not getting out of those. He pitching differently?
“No, I don’t know if he’s pitching different. The league now has some stuff (scouting) on him, the league has seen some videos, they’ve seen him pitch for a while. I think sometimes he gets behind in the count. Today he only walked two, but usually he’ll spray it around in the strike zone. I think that’s what gets him in trouble.”
On the offense
“I thought we did a nice job offensively today against Haren. We chased him out of the game in the fifth inning. I thought putting Swisher in the lineup there added a little spark. He hits home runs from both sides of the plate. He looked OK in left field for me. That’s a good sign.
“But it’s a hard one (to lose). You score seven runs and feel like you’ve got a good chance to win the ballgame, and we didn’t do it.”
On the challenge call, what’d they tell you about the fan hitting the ball before it went in the basket?
“They felt like the ball hit high enough on his forearm that it was going to be in the basket anyway, and they didn’t have enough to overturn it. Horacio thought it was a good challenge, even though it wasn’t a challenge – it was a boundary call, so you get a freebie there. It was good for the umpires to say, ‘Hey, it’s close enough, let’s got give it a look and see.’ That’s what replay’s for and they used it.”
On the safe play at home on Simmons’ relay throw, and your decision not to challenge it
“The only thing I saw was on the jumbotron. Horacio (Ramirez) said he thought he had made it in there safe, and he’s pretty darn good about those plays.”
On the home-run call upheld, play where ball hit fan’s arm and went in the basket
“I get where they were coming from on the replay, but from where I was standing it looked like it had a legitimate chance to maybe hit off the front or go under that thing. They got together and replayed it, that’s really all you can do after that.”
**WILLIAMS PEREZ (translated by Horacio Ramirez)
Fredi Gonzalez said he think you’re getting behind in counts to hitters, that that’s been your biggest problem since returning from DL
“I do feel like that’s been a problem since I’ve been back. Falling behind in the count. Before the DL stint I was able to get ahead in the count.”
Any particular reason you can think of or identify for that to happen?
“I don’t have an a answer. I was only gone (not pitching) for 15 days. It’s just bad luck.”
“No excuses. Things just aren’t working out.”
On giving back the lead a couple of times
“That’s just part of the game. I have to handle it and stay mentally strong.”
Was it a tough day to pitch here with the wind blowing out and balls landing in the home-run basket
“It was for both teams. Both teams had the same amount of opportunities. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to execute pitches and keep the ball on the ground. Playing in this park as many times as I’ve played here, I know once you get the ball in the air, anything is possible.”
Does it help them knowing your tendencies, since you were a Cub for a few years? Or help you? Or does it matter?
“I don’t think so. At the end of the day it’s about execution. Just keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate and minimizing mistakes. Regardless of whether you know someone or not, it’s just a matter of execution.”
Main difference between this Cubs team and when you first came to Chicago a few years ago?
“They’re winning. They’re going out and getting big hits when they need them.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.