Braves quotes from Matt Wisler, Freddie Freeman and Fredi Gonzalez after Sunday’s 9-3 loss to the Cubs that completed a sweep at Wrigley Field.
On Wisler and two other rookies getting hit hard in the four-game series
“As a group, you run three starters out there that – there was some study five or six years ago that said you don’t become a major league starter until you get 40-45 starts under your belt. Well, I think combined all three may not have 30 yet. It was a rough outing. Three of the four starters didn’t get past the fifth inning. It’s tough, but it’s learning pains, growing pains, experience. We’ve been down this road in the past with some of our pitchers who are major league pitchers now, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor and that group. It takes a while.”
Wisler’s really strugged in August, do you think he’s tiring or teams making adjustments? Or both?
“It could be. He works about as good as you could want. Never complains about anything. I think it’s a matter of one of those things I just touched (upon) — people have seen you now, and you can’t get away with mistakes. You’ve got to throw the fastball, pitch to people’s weaknesses. The other three guys, the same thing. And they’ve got another month, which how many of those guys have experienced that? Usually their season is done, and we’ve got another month. We’ll keep running them out there, and they’ll be better off for it next year.”
Was this also a case of running into a team that’s playing well?
“They’re playing good baseball, they’re swinging the bats well. It’s a good club, it really it. They’ve’ got a nice mixture of veteran players with some experience, and a lot of young, talented very good players.”
Could having so many young pitchers and young players have a lot to do with the road woes?
“I think we’ve got more young pitching that we’ve got young players. But I don’t know, it’s one of those things – I don’t know how many games we’ve won since going to Colorado. (2). That’s something you’ve got to learn.
“I don’t know if there’s a right answer or not (to why they’re struggling on the road). So in lieu of sounding dumb, I’ll just say I don’t know.”
When you threw hands up in air after fourth homer, was that just frustration over the conditions, your performance, or a little of everything?
“Pretty much everything. We needed a win today. I really didn’t give us a chance at all to be in the game. I gave up seven in the first three innings. It’s really hard to come back from that. I left a couple of pitches up today and they hit a couple of good pitches out. They hit a couple of mistakes out. They just hit the ball off me today.”
Was it a matter of location on the home runs?
“Kris Bryant’s wasn’t a bad pitch. The next time I hit him because I was trying to get the ball in there so he couldn’t get the head out on it, and it just came in on him. Flower’s (pitch) was a little up. I didn’t think Schwarber’s was that bad of a pitch. And then Montero, I just missed up with that. It was off the plate away, but just up.”
Do you think the struggles recently with giving up homers is more your doing, or hitter adjusting to you, ambushing you?
“I think it’s probably on me. I think the ball’s getting up a little bit, I’ve got to start working down. It’s been a lot of lefties hitting home runs off of me. I think I’ve done a pretty good job on righties, except for Bryant today obviously. I’ve just got to figure out how to pitch to lefties up here.”
Did you also attribute it to going up against a team that’s really hit a lot of home runs lately
“Yeah, I didn’t feel that bad to give up seven runs. Obviously they beat me today. They came in hot and I didn’t adjust to it.”
And the fact that team was playing last game of a winless trip made it harder to take?
“Yeah, obviously our team needs to win, and we know it. Tough toad trip right there. I was trying to come out and help give our team a chance to win, and I failed at that today.”
Was there more adrenaline when you got out there?
“No, a little extra nervousness, but once I got in the game it wasn’t any different. They just beat me.”
On how much the youth of the team plays in the road struggles
“I think that’s a big part. Going out there and getting some growing pains. They’re still battling out there, they’re still trying to make their pitches. I thought Wis through a couple of good pitches that they somehow hit it into the outfield and got it into the air. I thought Montero’s pitch was at least 3-4 inches outside. He just put good spin on it, hit it the other way. There were a couple of balls that went in the (home run) basket again. It’s just learning from your mistakes and go on. Make another start in five days.”
Cubs are raking and seem to know how to use this ballpark
“Yeah. Everything we threw in this series, they hit and it either fell (for a hit), hit in the basket or went over the fence. One of those series, you think it’s going to go our way and it went all their way.”
On Braves starters being so young
“Yeah, rookies. Even the guys that aren’t rookies are still 25, 24. We’ve got a young rotation, they’re logging some innings and hopefully they can learn from all the mistakes that are going on right now and hopefully then can end on a positive note in their last few starts.”
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