Braves quotes after Saturday’s loss to the Cubs

— quotes compiled by Matthew Bain and David O’Brien

Braves quotes from Nick Markakis, Chris Johnson, Juan Uribe and Fredi Gonzalez after Saturday’s loss to the Cubs.

**NICK MARKAKIS

On Jon Lester, against whom he had 73 at-bats before Friday, nearly as many as the rest of the Braves combined

“He’s tough. I’ve had the opportunity to face him a lot and it’s a challenge, it’s a battle every time. He’s the type of player he is because of what he’s accomplished and what he brings to the table. It’s a battle up there every time and he threw the ball well tonight.”

On Lester not letting any of three runners advance past first base until 8th inning

“That’s why he’s good, he gets guys on and he pitches even more.”

On you hit that got changed to an error later, did that effect you guys at all?

“No. I don’t know how many years of baseball I’ve been playing, but I’ve never seen that before. I’m sure he has good reasoning, and I’d like to hear it maybe. It’s an unfortunate situation, unfortunate it got changed five innings later when he’s got a no-hitter going. But you’ve got to put those things behind you and move on.”

On Pierzynski’s hit in the eighth to lead off

“It’s big. Especially as tough as he’s been on the mound. He’s not an easy at-bat, especially against a lefty. And for A.J. to come up with a hit there was encouraging and got things going there. We just fell short.”

**CHRIS JOHNSON

On the changed call, Markakis hit to error

“It’s crazy. We didn’t know he had a no-hitter; we could also care less. We’re just worried about getting runs, we’re not worried about how many hits we had. But yeah, it was strange. We didn’t know, I don’t think I realized it until the bottom of the seventh, when we were hitting, I think. Whatever. What sucks is I thought the play’s a hit, it sucks for Nick. (The scorer) probably wanted to see a no-hitter.”

On two bounced throws from Uribe that Johnson didn’t catch (one ruled a hit, one a throwing error)

“Tough in-between picks. Balls that hit the grass and kind of go into the runner a little bit. Tried to just really knock down that first one, and the second one he just kicked down the line, just a bad break.”

On Lester and what made him so tough tonight

“I tell you what, every time I faced him, all three times, he did something different. That’s why that guy’s tough, because he’s got the ability to do that. Most guys you face, you’ve kind of got a bead on them your second or third at-bat. But I went 3-2 my first at-bat and still hadn’t see all his pitches. He was tough. You’ve got to tip your cap to that guy, and hopefully we come out tomorrow and win the series.”

**JUAN URIBE

On Lester

“He’s a good pitcher. I don’t think, like, they can beat me. I prepared for him. He’s a good pitcher. I just try to see the ball, hit the ball.”

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Jon Lester’s performance

“He was commanding his fastball. He really was. Both sides of the plate, keeping it down. I thought (Cody) Ross did a nice job with him. He mixed some pitches, but I thought his command of his fastball was as good as not only him but anyone commanding a fastball. And Manny (Banuelos) was OK. He wasn’t as bad as the numbers. The first run, he threw the pick-off away and they got a base hit instead of two base hits to score that guy. Manny was OK. They had a lot of deep counts and his pitch count was way up there. But I thought our bullpen did a nice job keeping us right there within two runs. We got to Lester (and had runners at) first and second I thought (Andrelton) Simmons had a nice at-bat there to get to first and second. And we didn’t capitalize on it, and they added on some runs in the ninth inning.”

On Lester’s cutter and mixing of pitches

“I don’t think he gave any pitches to hit really. Everything was down in the strike zone and off the corner. He did a nice job today.”

On Juan Uribe’s defense at third base in the ninth inning

“Those are pretty tough, those in-between hops. And the ball hits the runner there and kicks it down to right field and ends up scoring a run there and putting another guy in scoring position at third base. Those are tough plays, but I thought Juan did a nice job just getting to the ball there, the one that (Kris) Bryant hit. Almost turning two and getting out of there only down two.”

On Cameron Maybin’s impressive catch in center field

“That was a great play. The ball just hung up enough and he made a play. I thought we had a great at-bat – Juan Uribe earlier that inning. He hits a ball in the gap and the wind kept it up just enough for (Dexter) Fowler to get under it. If not we got maybe second and third or a run in and here we go.”

On scorekeeper changing Nick Markakis’ first-inning single to a Kris Bryant error

“I didn’t even know, to tell you the truth, that they had changed it. I thought it was a hit all the way. And then you start hearing the buzz in the dugout. But I don’t pay too much attention to it. I thought it was a hit right off the get-go. You know what it does, I think it puts pressure on the opposing pitcher and manager because all of a sudden it goes from a one-hitter to a no-hitter and you may run him out there a little longer. And all of a sudden you may be able to get him.”

On Jonny Gomes’ near home run in the seventh

“It’s just a game of inches. I think you look at the eight innings worth of baseball, I thought we did a nice job.”

On Braves using 51 players this season

“I don’t even know the numbers to tell you the truth. It was a situation where I thought we needed to bring (Jason Frasor) in. Whether he’s the 51st player or the 60th player, I’m sure. But we needed to get a big out there and he delivered. He did a nice job. Inning and a third, getting us through there and keeping them at two runs.”

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