Braves quotes after Thursday’s 15-1 loss to the Nationals

WASHINGTON — Braves quotes from Fredi Gonzalez, Freddie Freeman and Matt Wisler after Thursday’s 15-1 loss to the Nationals.


On Wisler’s struggles

“You know what, he’s got to command (pitches). I think he was ahead in the count a lot of times that he got hit. Obviously that one inning, three base on balls and a hit batter. Just got out of hand.”

Are you worried about the on-the-job training being too much for these guys and possibly losing confidence?

“You know what? They better get used to it. It’s one of those things, there’s no more help. If we feel that they’re our guys and we want them to be our guys, then they’ve got to get over it. They’ve got to go out there and get the big outs, get the big innings, have the big outings. Sooner or later we’ve got to do that. We’ve got to keep running them out there, and they’ll figure it out sooner or later.”

More on the pitching woes

“The stuff that we’ve been seeing, it’s really unacceptable. Guys are professional. Major leaguers. Some of these guys have a lot of years playing in the minor leagues. And for them to get hit around like that, it’s not really acceptable. And you go back and look at the tape – and we will in the morning – it’s a lot of 1-2 pitches over the plate, 0-2, ahead in the count, just not very good pitches. And I know for sure that a lot of the pitching coaches and managers that they’ve gone through in the minor leagues (have taught them a better two-strike approach than that). It’s not good. It hurts. Especially, there’s a way to lose, and today wasn’t one of those days. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Fredi, could the poorly located pitches on two-strike counts, or the walks, be sign of fatigue with some of these young guys?

“I don’t know what it is, but if it’s fatigue, just suck it up. If we want to go in there and start bringing up every pitcher in the minor leagues. I’m sure there’s people out there that would like to take an opportunity at it. If it’s fatigue, work a little extra. Really, there’s no… You try to be calm and try to be patient, but sometimes there’s no excuses for that. Whether it’s fatigue or not. It’s not fatigue when you get two strikes. So I don’t buy that.”

Ever gone through a stretch like this with any team?

“No, not on the major league level. I would be lying to you if I said yes, at the major league level. There might have been a stretch some place in the course of my career that that happened, but I can’t remember that right now.”

Sounds like your frustration is growing, that you’re saying it’s time to start performing

“You know, if you’re learning and you’re being patient like we are….our coaching staff is patient, but sooner or later, let’s go. Let’s do something to get somebody out. That’s the message, really. Maybe I sound frustrated myself, because you sit there and watch the stuff day-in and day-out. Today, first inning, two outs, nobody on. We talked about that (with reporters) this afternoon – two outs, nobody on. And next thing you know it’s a two-spot (two runs). That kind of stuff. Roger (McDowell) beats his head into the ground every single day with these guys. We’ve got to get over that stuff.”

On Zimmermann holding Braves to two hits, one run, four walks in six innings

“That might be the worst Jordan Zimmermann I’ve seen in a long time. As far as all those things (not having his usual command). But he competed and gave them six innings, and obviously the offense helped him. But I’ve seen him where we would have got no-hit (today) if he was on his game.”


When told that Fredi Gonzalez had shown more frustration than usual tonight after the game, bordering on anger over the pitching mistakes

“I don’t think you can ever get angry. We’ve got a group of guys in here who are going out and battling every single day. It’s not like we’re trying to give up runs or trying to only get two hits in a game. When things are going bad, they’re going bad. When we hit a ball hard, they go at someone. There’s a line drive to me that somehow goes off my glove instead of in my glove. It’s just one thing after another. A throw from (left fielder Nick) Swisher is just off by inches instead of right on it. You know, it’s just hard to pinpoint anything.

“We’re going out there, we have 28 games left, all you can do is go out there and keep trying as hard as you possible can. Yeah, anyone can come off the street and try as hard as they can. We do get paid to do this, and we have to turn it around. Obviously we’re not going to make the playoffs, but as a group, there’s a lot of young guys in this clubhouse, see what you’re made of in these last 28 games by going out there and seeing what you can do instead of going out there and getting manhandled every single night. As a professional baseball player, that’s not what you want. You don’t come to the yard every day expecting to lose by 14, 15 runs every single day.

“So we’re going to have to turn it around, go out there and keeping playing hard, and hopefully it turns around tomorrow.”


On Fredi Gonzalez being frustrated by Braves’ continued pitching mistakes. You sense growing frustration?

“Yeah, I’ve struggled for the last month now. There’s no real secret about that, I’ve really struggled. I felt good coming out of the bullpen, just didn’t get it done in the game.”

Looked like slider was OK at times, and they were on your fastball with two strikes a lot

“Yeah, I gave up a lot of two-strike hits today. I’ve got to go back and look at pitch selection. I just need to execute better.”

Frustrating to get the first two outs in the opening inning, then see that inning kind of come apart?

“Yeah, two outs in first inning, and eight pitches later, two runs. I need to start making pitches. Ball’s getting up a little bit. I felt pretty good in the windup today, like I was keeping the ball down in the windup. But right now with guys on base, my stretch isn’t what it needs to be. Ball’s staying up and they’re putting it in play.”

Came out of Yankee game feeling good about performance; what was main difference tonight, why you struggle?

“I made pitches in the Yankee game when I needed to. I stayed in the windup a little more, got into a better rhythm. Tonight I was always in the stretch. Struggled from the stretch, so hopefully work on that this week and figure it out in the next five days.”

“I’ve struggled for the past month. Every fifth day I’m trying to go out there and improve on what I did, but I haven’t been. So I need to go out there five days from now and finally show up.”