CHICAGO — Braves quotes from Mike Foltynewicz, A.J. Pierzynski and Fredi Gonzalez after Thursday’s loss to the Cubs.
How’d you feel about your performance overall?
“I mean, if you don’t look at the numbers, I think I threw the ball OK. It was one of the better games I’ve had (in terms of ) command of my fastball. They just hit good pitches. Sometimes you’ve to to tip your cap to them. But it’s the best I’ve felt all year, just things didn’t go my way.”
Fredi said it’s getting through a lineup the second time that you need to work on, to keep teams from getting comfortable second time through
“Yeah, the first two innings I just went out there and attacked them. I think in the third inning and later I just let things get a little too fast on me. The walks didn’t help me out much, but from here on out I’ve got to slow things down better when I get in those situations. But like I said, I think I had the best command of my fastball that I’ve had all year. Just got to tip your cap to them.”
On feeling so good tonight
“I’ve been working on stuff mechanically, and the ball’s been coming out a little bit better. It’s the best I’ve felt all year, must be the adrenaline from coming back home (Illinois native). It’s coming out good, but they hit it.”
On Rizzo homer
“When I walked him that first (time up in the second), I didn’t show him much other than a fastball, and I think he was just waiting for it. He can turn on a ball easily, and he showed it tonight. But the next start I’m going to do better the second time through the lineup, second and third time.”
On getting frustrated by the inconsistent strike zone and getting squeezed on some pitches
“I get real competitive, and the competitive person … a little bit of it comes out in me sometimes. It’s something I can’t control, but you’ve got to have better emotions out there.”
On Fredi getting ejected arguing balls and strikes for you
“It’s great to see when somebody has your back. I was out there battling, so it was great to see that. When I’m competing, trying to win a game, it’s really nice to see that.”
On Foltynewicz’ performance despite the bad stat line
“I told Folty to be proud of the way he threw tonight. I know he gave up some runs. The line score probably didn’t match kind of with what he had tonight, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. I thought his fastball command was as good as I’ve seen. I thought his breaking balls were good. He threw some really good split-fingers, got some outs on those, which is kind of a pitch-in-progress. He did a lot of good things. Unfortunately the numbers don’t dictate that. You look up and see we’re based on performance and numbers, but he should have been proud of the way he threw, and I told him that.”
On Arrieta’s dominance
“I mean, hell, he’s got four pitches he throws – plus-96 (fastball), cutter, curveball, changeup. Throws it in, throws it out, throws it up, throws it down. No one’s doing a whole lot against him. I actually thought we did a really good job of having good at-bats against him. We got him out (of the game early) A hundred pitches in six innings with no runs, that’s pretty good. He made pitches when he had to, and we didn’t have many chances.”
“We had long at-bats, walks, like I said we didn’t make a lot of early outs. We did it right. Unfortunately, he’s pretty good.”
He as good as anyone in the NL this season, even with Kershaw and Greinke doing what they’re doing?
“There’s a lot of good pitchers right now. But he’s pretty good. To come in here, wind blowing out, and do what he did — it was impressive.”
On Folty getting off to a good start before things went south
“His first two innings might have been the best two innings I’ve seen him throw, really. The game didn’t turn out the way the first two innings went, but you sit back here and you watch the game on television, and you pull up numbers, and you see how well Arrieta’s done the last three years, and you look at his first two years in the big leagues. And you’re watching these guys pitch tonight, and it’s like, somewhere down the line Jake figured it out, how to pitch. And I think that’s where we are with Folty. He gets two innings, then all of a sudden we’ve got to go a second time through the lineup and throw some other pitches for strikes.
“But hopefully almost comparable careers, if you want to look at the positive side.”
On getting toss for arguing balls and strikes, why’d you do it when you did?
“I watched Folty’s body language. I thought Rizzo’s first at-bat, he made some great pitches on Riz. Riz stands so close to the plate, it’s either going to be a strike or it’s going to hit him. And he made some great pitches on him. And then later on…. I got ejected for (arguing) balls and strikes. That’s it. I see Folty, who’s out there getting after it, and I see a couple of times where he got frustrated, (apparent) with his body language. I just said a few things in the dugout. It wasn’t anything crazy or anything like that, but you can’t argue balls and strikes. I watched the rest of the game on TV.”
Home runs have really hurt Folty in recent games
“That’s a young pitcher making mistakes over the plate. Those things will happen, you hope the learning curve is there and you keep going forward, and hopefully get better.”
On Cubs starter Jake Arrieta
“All his pitches are quality pitches. Somewhere down the line, somebody gave him an opportunity to out there every fifth day and pitch, because you look at his numbers the first two years in Baltimore…. He’s figured out a way how to pitch. He throws the cutter, he’s got the great fastball that’s downhill, and he commands them all.”
More on Folty’s performance, opponents doing damage after the first time through lineup
“I’m going to go look at some of his game logs and see where they get him, the part of the game where the opposition gets him. I’m willing to bet three-quarters of his bad outings, it’s his second time and third time through the lineup, when they’ve seen him a couple of times, they’re comfortable, and he’s not throwing other pitches. We’ve got to get him through those second times through the lineup, those middle innings.”
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