Braves quotes after Sunday’s win and sweep of Nats


On Maholm’s strong performance

“He mixed it up well, got his breaking ball over early, mixed his sweeps up, threw a couple of different curveballs. We made a couple of nice defensive plays behind him, swung the bats, gave him a nice little cushion to work with, and he kept it. Sometimes that’s not easy to do, but he’s a guy that’s been around a little bit and was able to just keep pounding the strike zone.”

On offense clicking today

“B.J. got three hits, C.J. (Chris Johnson) got four. Simmons got a three-run homer, Gattis….everybody up and down the lineup got some hits. Danny has the bad luck going right now, he’s hit about four balls right on the nose the last couple of days and not gotten anything for it. But yeah, it’s good to see those guys clicking and get some balls dropping in there.”

On sweep and 11-1 start

“It’s early. I don’t think we’re going to play .998 baseball the rest of the way, but it sure is better than 1-11. We’ve still got (16) more games left against them. It’s a nice finish to a nice road trip, and we’re going to go home and I guess just change clothes and get back on the road again, because we’re only home for two days. But it’s a nice road trip.

“Both teams (Braves and Nationals) are real good ballclubs. We’ll see what happens the rest of the summer and how it unfolds.”

Bullpen no inherited runners allowed to score this season

(Knocks on wooden desk.) “You know I don’t like talking about that because next week it’ll be something different. But we’ve got guys down there you can match up with, with O’Flaherty and Avilan from the left side, and Walden can get lefties out, Kimbrel at the back end, Gearrin with the righties…. It’s a nice bullpen.”


Nice to get in there and be a big part of that win?

“Oh, yeah, that was fun. That was fun.”

On getting big early lead against Gio Gonzalez, in last game of series

“We’ve been playing pretty good and we know the Nationals are supposed to be pretty good. So it was good to make a statement early, let them know we’re going to be tough to beat. That was a great win for us.”

On getting to Gio Gonzalez early and Simmons’ 3-run homer

“Fortunately the other guys had already started getting to him. I mean, that blow, I guess pretty much put the game away. Today we swung the bats a little better. Hit some balls right at people, too. Pretty good. It’s a great way to go home, with a sweep against the Nationals, against our rivals pretty much.”

On Maholm

“He was amazing. He was hitting his spots, he was mixing his pitches, he was getting the outs. He was amazing for us.”

On the offense and getting some contributions from other guys today

“There’s even more to come. This is a pretty good ballclub, and hopefully we can keep it up and keep showing what we’re capable of doing.”


Feel like you were in a rhythm from start today?

“Yeah, my (pregame) bullpen wasn’t very good. Just one of those days where you get out there and once the game starts it just kicks in, your mechanics kick in. The guys made plays and I went out there up 3-0 before I got to pitch, so obviously that gets you to settle down a little quicker.”

On so many first-inning leads, how important during 11-1 start?

“Any time you can get out there (in the lead) first, the job of the pitcher is to put up zeroes and shut-down innings and get us back in the dugout pretty quick. Him (Gonzalez) having a long first inning and then me having a pretty quick one probably kept the momentum on our side. The guys grinded out at-bat and made some great plays behind me. It’s been fun to watch those guys every day.”

On sweep

“Any time you play a team in your division you want to take the series, and if you have a chance to sweep you want to get it, no matter if it’s now or it’s September. It’s going to be a battle all year. They’re a great team. The Phillies are a great team. So it’s going to be tough. It’s good to get off to a good start and not be trying to climb up the whole year. Kind of like my little run, the run the team’s on – ride it as long as it’ll go, and just see how it ends up.”

On staff’s majors-leading ERA getting overshadowed some

“All of us are just doing our thing. The starting five, obviously the first game here, Julio had a rough (time) where he wasn’t really locked in the first two innings, but then he shut them down and kept us right where we needed to be. That goes a long way, saves the bullpen. And the rest of us are just going out there and trying to put up zeroes, keep the team in it and let the offense get going. And obviously hen we had it over to the bullpen, it’s a pretty good feeling knowing those guys are out there.”

On bullpen not letting any of 14 inherited runners scored this season

“I was sweating a little bit today. But no, whenever those guys come in, it’s all the confidence in the world with whoever is out there. Every one of them that’s out there has great stuff.”


On him getting three hits, more of lineup clicking today

“It’s something we’ve all been waiting for. Obviously it’s still early, but it’s definitely good to see signs of it. We’re going to keep grinding it out, keep working hard and taking it game by game.”

On his double on first pitch of the game

“It’s important to get out to a fast start, especially against those guys. They’re a very good ballclub, and the goal is to pretty much not let Gio get settled in. If he can get settled in, he can be pretty darn good.”

You’ve faced him more than most Braves

“I saw him over in the American League and I know what he’s like when he gets comfortable, and we’re trying to get off to a good start right there.”

On 11-1 record and sweep of Nats

“We’re playing good baseball, and to come in and sweep these guys, and the way we won a couple of pretty close ballgames, got a couple of timely hits…. Overall, man, a pretty good road trip, and we go back home for an off day and get ready for Tuesday.”

On his three hits today after coming in batting .105

“I’ve been working hard every day with Greg Walker, just trying to get things going in the right direction. Today’s a start. Just have to build off of that. Guys are starting to swing the bats a little better now. Our goal is just to stay where we’re at and keep going.”

On the defense and pitching

“We made some good plays, and Paul (Maholm) has been outstanding. He’s been unbelievable. If you can get pitching and defense, with the way we swing the bats we’re a pretty tough team to beat.”


On him and B.J. and others getting key hits today for a change

“We’ve been plugging away at it. This is week 2, solid week, going on the road and winning all the games. Me personally, I feel like it was good at the plate, not giving away any at-bats, trying to put good swings on the ball even though they got caught. Today I was fortunate enough for one of those to fall with some guys on base. But as a whole, it’s been team baseball. Outstanding pitching, obviously. Gattis and Laird behind the plate putting down the right fingers. We’re playing above average defense and scoring enough runs when we can.”

On starting out 11-1 and knowing the offense is capable of more

“It’s a good feeling, man. That’s really promising. The best is yet to come, I feel like, for the offense. But it’s a long season. We go through slumps and things like that. But we’ll just try to keep it real simple, have fun and not try to do too much, go out there and put up a good at-bat and then we feel like a lot of good things will come from that.”

Feel like the team made a statement here in Washington?

“This is week 2, man. The first series against them. A sweep is a sweep. That’s that. But it’s a long season. April’s April. We’ve got to keep this going. We’ve got to keep guys healthy and keep having fun and keep rolling. We’ll see where we finish up in September, but if it’s like this then obviously we’ll feel like we have a lot of good chances.”