Braves quotes after Sunday’s win against Marlins

— Quotes compiled by Carroll Rogers and David O’Brien


On Mike Minor

“I thought he was outstanding. We got him in the hole a little bit on that ball that was the sun ball but he battled. He gave us seven strong innings. He became the pitcher of record. That’s where the good ones stick around, they hang around and all of a sudden we sscore four and he gets a W. We manufactured some runs early, then Freeman’s home run and Gattis one-run double. It was a good offensive day. And also Minor was outstanding.”

On jolt from Freeman if any kind of letdown after ending winning streak

“It was one of those days after yesterday, we lose 1-0 on a wild pitch, and the way we started that game it was like ‘oh, it’s going to be one of those days, hot.’ Might be the hottest day we’ve played so far here. These guys battle. They’re tough. They like to play. They like to compete. CJ coming back with a big at-bat there, the ball over Stanton’s head there to get a couple runs. It was a good team effort.”

On four hits from Heyward, his impact from leadoff spot

“He can hit anywhere really, and putting him up there in the leadoff spot, getting on base, getting some big clutch hits, driving in the fifth run of the game it’s big. Made a couple nice plays defensively. He does that all the time, the way he plays the game, the way he goes after it every single day of the season, it’s nice and refreshing to see.”

Was Justin Upton bunting on his own?

“Yeah, and I thought that was great play. The guy was giving him the bunt there and the ball just hit in the dirt and kind of spun back to him a little bit. I thought it was a great play.”

“It’s just a cramp. It’s a cramp he gets every once in a while. We’ve got to figure out a way for that not to happen, especially in a day game. This is the second time this has happened to him in this season here. It’s funny because in Arizona he lives in the hot but plays in the air-conditioning. Here it’s the other way around. He lives in the air-conditioning and plays in the hot weather. We’ve got to figure out a way to keep him on the field without cramping.”

On is similar to Rockies win, in what could have been letdown game

“You feel good about your club even if you get down because of the home run threat. All of a sudden base on balls, bloop single and somebody runs you out of the ballpark and you’re back in it, no matter how many runs of a deficit you have. But this one could have been one of those games but these guys don’t let that happen very often.”

On Minor’s career-high in wins, difference from early last year

“Maturity, a guy who keeps getting more and more confident in himself and the ability to do what he wants to do with that ball in his hand. And also have the confidence to know when his stuff is not good. I think two starts ago he said he didn’t have very good stuff, but he battled, he stayed in the game, and that’s the kind of stuff you see from a guy who’s maturing and heading in the right direction as a young major league pitcher.”

Any update on Walden (after he was hit in hand by hard-hit in 9th inning Saturday)

“It hit him in the fatty part of the (base of the) thumb there. We’ll probably just lay off him for a couple days and see where he goes from there.”


On his performance

“I think I threw a lot better than what the numbers showed. They battled. They had some hits there, scored some runs early, had a big inning with three runs. But I felt a lot better than I did (against) the Nationals, just kind of with a different outcome.”

On how he’s changed since first half last season, when he might have given up after falling behind

“We have a good enough team and if I just hold them off until later on in the game, I feel like we can come back easily. I just feel like I’ve grown in that aspect.”

What was key to that maturity as a pitcher?

“Failure. Being down all the time, especially last year at the beginning of the year. It was every game. I had to change something, I had to work on something. I feel like I have the same stuff, the same pitches. I attack guys more now and I’m mentally stronger now.”

On pitcher Alvarez’s double

“I thought it was a fastball away, pretty good pitch, on the black. He stands all over the plate, because the next at-bat I went in, in, in, and he was jumping out of the way. Balls that are, if not strikes, then an inch in, and he was jumping out of the way.”

On Justin Upton’s bunt surprising Minor (was base runner at second base on play, thrown out at third)

“I kind of was kicking myself in the butt, thinking if I just had one extra step on my lead. But I just didn’t want to get picked off, or the catcher throws back-pick. So I’m just kind of hanging out up there. Next thing you know I see him square around. Didn’t know what to do.

“But his idea was, you’ve got Freddie coming up behind him, if he can bunt for a base hit there, we’ve got bases loaded.”


On visiting relatives

“My grandparents, my aunt and my cousin are all here from California. My aunt and cousin are here for a tennis tournament, and my grandparents just come out here to see me. So it was nice to be able to do something for them today.”

On coming back to win today after winning streak snapped with 1-0 loss Saturday

“Definitely. As an offense, when you get shut out you want to come back and get things going, and we were able to do that today. Mikey pitched great. He battled through seven innings, and the bullpen came in and shut it down like they always do. We were able to put up a couple of big inning and get us a ‘W.’”

Felt good to get three-run homer after winning streak snapped and fell behind today?

“Yeah, you don’t want to have them keep it going, so we were able to come out here and get some runs on the board early, and Mikey pitched like he has all year.”

On coming back to win again

“We never panic. We lead the league in coming back, so I think that’s just a testament to our team.”


On deciding to bunt

“I decided when we got (runners on) first and second. With Freddie coming up next, the goal is to load the bases for him. They ended up getting an out out of it, but that’s part of the game.”

Hamstring tighten up during sprint to first?

“No, it was once I was walking back. It was cramping up. I tried to chug some water real quick but it didn’t work out, so they just told me to take it in.”

Precautionary more than anything?

“Yeah, at this point, it’s late in the season and it wasn’t getting any cooler out there. It was the decision made.”

Think you’ll play tomorrow?

“I’m hoping to be in there tomorrow. I feel good enough.”


On his four hits and the win after streak snapped Saturday

“Good to win a series. Good way to do it. They kept fighting back, and we were able to overcome that. Glad to contribute today personally. Good pitching. Mikey threw the ball well, and we had some good hits in some good spots.”

What did Freeman’s homer do for you in that spot?

“What it’s done for us all year. Kind of let them know they were going to have to score again. They did, but we were able to come back and overcome that again. I feel really confident at home especially, holding the game close, down by one or two, that we can come out with a win.”

Might be pigeonholed as a leadoff guy if you do this (kidding)

“I’m not too concerned about it. (Smiles.) Either way, just happy to be playing, happy to be on the field, happy to be contributing and having fun with this team.”

Feel more comfortable in the leadoff role?

“I’m not even thinking about it, to be honest. I’m just going up there, putting up good at-bats, get good pitches, take good swings. Don’t miss the good pitches. Try to hit some tough ones sometimes. If I drive guys in sometimes, it happens. And other than that, I know I don’t have a problem scoring from first on a double by one of those two guys behind me.”