Braves quotes after Tuesday’s loss to Nationals

— quotes compiled by Matthew Bain and David O’Brien

Braves quotes from Shelby Miller, Jake Brigham and Fredi Gonzalez after Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Nationals.


On his performance

“I kind of made some bad pitches. The first two at-bats, I went back and looked, the one I threw to Span (leadoff single) was away, right where I wanted to throw it, he just got a hit on it. Espinosa (RBI double that followed), I was trying to go inside. Still down-and-away, he got a hit on that. And I just kind of hung the curveball (Robinson two-run homer). Next thing you know it’s four runs, kind of put our team in a hole there. But after that I felt like we did a good job battling.”

On if anything worked better for him after the first inning

“Not really. I mean, if I could take it back I wouldn’t have thrown (Clint) Robinson a curveball. I think that did him a huge favor with a hanging curveball inside. I probably should have stuck with something else that I’d been throwing a little bit better than that. But at the end of the day it’s a pitch I decided to throw and just left it up and it just wasn’t a good pitch at all. But you take the positive and negative. After that we got into trouble and got out of that, which was nice so at the end of the day we did some good jobs of getting out of some jams. But at the same time, tough loss.”

On how he feels after tough game in the middle of his great season

“Obviously I’m upset that we lost, but those things are going to happen. Like I said at the end of the day if you’re making your pitches, and they’re getting hits, it happens. You tip your cap to those games, to the offense. It’s obviously a tough offense to get through and it’s not going to be seven innings and zero runs every single time against guys like that. You’re going to have rough games, it happens to everybody but you just put this one past (you) and go on to the next one and get ready for the Phillies.”

On giving up big inning in the first, specifically

“It puts us in a pretty big hole. You’re down 4-0 and you’re facing the Nationals, and a team that’s been throwing pretty good not only against us but in general. Just kind of a bad inning to happen right there and especially the way Jordan Zimmerman went out there and threw. It’s hard to come back from and it was obviously a tough inning but one that we’ll put past and we’ll move on from that.”


On what he saw from Shelby Miller in the first

“They squared up some balls early in the game and then he just got himself in trouble the rest of the game. It wasn’t a normal Shelby Miller outing, and shoot, he’s allowed to have that every once in a while (with how good he’s been). So now we go on to his next start.”

On how well Jordan Zimmerman is pitching against the Braves

“You look at the 5-5 record with a three ERA and I snuggled up next to (hitting coach Kevin) Seizter and I said, Who’s hitting this guy?Because we have some pretty good hitters in the lineup. He’s pitched pretty tough against us in his career. You’d hate to look up some of those numbers. But you got left-handers this year hitting him, so we put five left-handers in the lineup, and he dominates those guys. He’s been going pretty good here the last five or six outings.”

On Jake Brigham’s debut

“He did a nice job. He really did a nice job. I was excited for him. Here’s a guy that was a recommendation from Mark Connor, a pitching coach he had pitched for with the Texas Rangers, and we got him in the camp and he’d been terrific, and good for him. And I think his parents were up in the stands. It’s a nice outing. He’ll never forget that one.”

On lack of offense with Freddie Freeman out and facing tough pitching

“You look at some of the matchups we’ve faced here going back to the Mets series here. It’s been pretty darn good. But that’s a presence that we’re missing, and guess what? We’re going to miss it for a little while longer, so we’ve got to figure out how to score some runs.”

On pitchers keeping a bad night from getting worse

“Yeah, we only used two pitchers out of the bullpen. I thought Brigham did a terrific job allowing us to just go two guys. (Ryan) Kelly will be available tomorrow. We didn’t burn him and we didn’t burn the four or five others guys that we could have. … The MVP of the game is Brigham. He gave us three solid innings.”


On how it felt to make his major league debut with three scoreless innings (one hit, one walk, four strikeouts)

“It was amazing. It was more than I ever could have imagined. I hate that we lost, because I’m walking around with a smile. But it was amazing. Just a thrill.”

What were you thinking and feeling when they called to tell you to warm up?

“Well, I’d actually warmed up earlier in the game. But when they said, ‘You’re in,’ can’t take back those words. So I knew this was it. Walking down those stairs, about to round the fence to run on the field, I just took a second. I couldn’t believe it. It was here.”

Adrenaline still going now?

“Oh yeah. (Laughs.) That’s why I’ve got my hands in my pockets, shaking right now. It hasn’t stopped. I keep trying to remind myself to breathe, keep taking deep breaths. But it’s just one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt.”

How did you maintain your composure out on the mound?

“I had a lot of people text me and call me and just said, ‘Try and focus on breathing. Just breathe. If you can breathe, you can think.’ And I don’t know how well I did that, but I just tried to just remind myself, take deep breaths, just breathe, relax. After getting the first guy out it was like, Ok, well, I can get a guy out, so let’s keep going.”

On how family members being in crowd made it that much more special

“Oh, yeah, my parents, from the time I was little, my brothers and sisters, and my wife Taylor and daughter Stella are here, and my in-laws and good friends. The encouragement over the years that they’ve given me, to never give up and just pursue my dream, is why I’m here.”

On how far he’s come in a couple of weeks, from Double-A Mississippi to pitching three scoreless innings in his big-league debut

“You never know. You never know who’s watching. Doesn’t matter what level you’re at. Going to Mississippi out of spring training, I determined that I was going to get out of there quick. Had a rough first couple of starts, made some changes, but just started getting aggressive with guys. And you just never know. I just went about my work every day and tried to get better every day, and two weeks later I’m sitting here. Pretty surreal.”