Clubhouse quotes from manager Fredi Gonzalez and several players following the Braves' 5-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday.
On the game and series
“For just losing two out of three, you feel like we won a couple of those games, just the way we hit balls. We had people on base and hit line drives right at them, and they made some plays defensively. It’s just the way the game goes sometimes, but you feel like we could have walked out of here with at least two out of three. Even the last couple of at-bats against Bell, we hit some balls right at them. Last night, Freeman against Corbin, line drive to first base to double him up. Today, bunch of balls, I couldn’t even name how many times I felt like a ball was going to get through the infield and it was a line drive at somebody.
“We got the lead and we just didn’t get a shutdown inning. They came in and put a big number up. We left a bunch of people on base with the right guys at the plate, and hit the ball hard. That said, you get on the plane and go home, take an off day, and hopefully those bats keep coming around this weekend, and start finding some holes.”
“A couple of the base hits were groundballs, which is fine. Give me a sinkerballer, ground balls that get through the infield, you’re OK with it. But we just couldn’t get a shutdown inning there.”
Seems like it’s usually one big inning for Hudson this year
“That’s what usually happens with starters, it’s going to be one inning. We had first and second there with two outs with Chavez, who had some pretty good at-bats against him. He hit a ball in the gap, it kind of broke our back.”
On the offense
“You see signs offensively. We’re swinging the bats. The only thing you can do is put a good swing on it, hit a ball hard, then they’re allowed to catch it. But at least that’s a good sign.”
On ending second 10-game road trip
“It seems like we get one of these every other series. You’d have liked to win today and gone home 5-5, but that didn’t happen. We lost a hearbreaker in Cincinnati that would have added a little icing on the cake (series win there). But an off day, go get ‘em (Friday). We’re home for two series and get a nice little run in us.”
On some of the hard-hit balls, like Simmons’ liner to first in 8th inning
“Look back at the one in the second inning, the one Simmons hit to right-center field. I think any other ballpark that’s off the wall or he can’t get to it. But here it’s so deep – and I’m not taking anything away from Pollock; he made a nice effort to chase that ball down – but at-bats like that make you feel good. Simmons’ last at-bat, he smoked a ball also. Those are good signs.”
On the Dbacks’ four-run fifth, frustrating that three RBIs came on pair of two-out hits?
“I felt like the results weren’t how I felt out there – I felt really good out there pitching. I didn’t have a great breaking ball today, but I felt like my fastball was good. I didn’t think they were on my fastball all day. I got in trouble with some off-speed stuff. Yeah, it is frustrating. One out away from getting out of the inning. I felt like I made decent pitches, especially the last one to Chavez, a backdoor cutter. He just stayed with it and hit it the other way. That’s a good piece of hitting.
“It’s a little frustrating. We got a lead, go out there and was one pitch away from winning the ballgame 3-2. It was a big pitch. You obviously know you’re not out of the woods, with a good hitter like Chavy coming up. But I felt like I really had him where I wanted him. Maybe we went to the backdoor cutter a little too much in that at-bat. Looking back on it, we might could have wasted a pitch and then gone back to it later. But hindsight is always 20-20. You always look back when something doesn’t go your way and figure out what you could have done differently. But if he pops that pitch up, then it was a great pitch. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t.”
On the 4-6 road trip
“We had the great series in Cincinnati. Played well, should have come out of there with a sweep. But it’s never easy playing out west. We come out west and teams are tough out here. It’s a tough division, good lineups. You have to play solid baseball. We just didn’t. We didn’t play very good baseball when we got to San Francisco or here. It’s just something, we’ve got to do a better job of making adjustments, both on the mound and at the plate. But it’s a long season. We’re going to hopefully get hot here again and start rattling off some wins, and get back where we want to be.”
On playing the fewest home games so far
“We’ve taken it in the shorts with our schedule, no question about it. But what, are we going to complain about it? We’re going to go out there and play ballgames, and at the season we’re going to have 81 at home and 81 on the road. I’d rather be doing this right now than in August, when your body’s really tired. Right now it’s early in the season. I wish we’d have been playing better on the road, but these are some good teams. You play against good teams, there’s going to be games that are tough to handle. There’s going to be games that whether you win or lose is determined by one or two instances in a game. And today just happened to be one pitch to one guy.”
Yet you guys have stayed in first place
“Yeah, I don’t feel like it’s doomsday or anything. We’ve been able to bob and weave through some tough scheduling. Lucikly we got off to a really good start. But I feel like we have another one of those runs in us. Hopefully a couple of them before the end of the year.”
On the moment before Prado’s at-bat, where you two tipped caps to one another
“We love him. Miss him. He’s a great teammate, a great player. I hope he bats a thousand the rest of the year, as long as he’s not playing us.”
On Braves hitting some balls right at people Wednesday
“We’ve hit some balls hard this whole series. A lot of line-outs. We’re going to get some bloopers here hopefully the next couple of days.”
On getting the lineup back intact for first time all season Friday, if Heyward’s back
“I know. We haven’t been healthy all year, so it’s going to be fun.”
“We haven’t been healthy all year and we’ve kept our heads above water. Now we get our whole squad back, so we’re going to see how good we are.”
On the schedule
“Two three-city trips already, in the first six weeks. It’s a tough toll on your body, especially going across to the West Coast. But like I said, we’ve kept our head above water and played well. We get a day off tomorrow, full squad back together on Friday.”
Can getting lineup intact and playing some home games help turn things around?
“I hope so, man. We’ve played pretty well, like today. We hit the ball pretty well, it just didn’t work out for us. Getting back home, getting back to your own bed, your comfort zone, and try to get something rolling.”
On having a lot of hard-hit balls go right at people last couple days
“That’s part of the game. You go out there and try to barrel a ball up, and you can’t control where it goes. We’re not down on the way we swung the bat. We just didn’t put any runs across. A lot of balls that we squared up didn’t fall for us.”
On the team’s recent struggles
“It’s a long season. We’re still in May. We’re getting a couple of pieces back pretty soon. Jason, who’s a superstar, those are bats that you miss. We’ll see what happens when he gets back. Hopefully things will start to click for us, and we’ll get some regularity with guys in the lineup and see what happens.”
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