- David O'Brien The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Braves quotes after Sunday’s 1-0 season-finale win against the Detroit Tigers in the last game to be played at Turner Field.
** BRIAN SNITKER
On Braves’ 1-0 win to cap strong finish to season
“I don’t think you can draw it up any better than that. You kind of visualize a perfect day, Freddie knocks a run in and Julio has the outing of his life.”
“This place (Turner Field) holds a lot of great memories for a lot of people. So it’s great to go out like that.”
On Teheran’s velocity
“He was getting up where he hadn’t been in a while. And you could tell he was jacked. He wanted it. You could just see, it was going to be his day, too. He knew what he was up against; we knew what we were up against. It wasn’t going to be easy. So it’s just a great way to put the ol’ girl to bed.”
When’s last time you saw Julio throwing 94?
“Before the DL stint I think he was, but, I mean, I saw some 95 (radar readings today) also. I’m sure there’s a little extra flowing going. Last outing, nothing to save it for. Got all winter to rest. It was neat. It was good to see. Hat’s off to him. That’s kind of what a No. 1 does, it’s like, get on my back and I’ll take you for a ride. That’s exactly what he did.”
On team finishing so strong, winning last five series
“It makes us feel good. We’ve been playing hard and to win for a long time. It’s real gratifying to end the year like this against a club like that. Just played some really good baseball games lately.”
On Dansby Swanson’s stabbing line drive to start 6-4 double play to end eighth inning
“Huge defensive play. I’ve got a feeling that’s going to be the norm with that kid – the bigger the situation, the bigger he’s going to come up.”
On Jim Johnson getting save on day he signs two-year extension
“That was really good news for me today when that (extension) happened, because the guy is what they look like. He’s a horse. Somebody you trust and depend on, he’s just good for all of us.”
On feeling good as season ends on such a high note
“I’m feeling real good right now. I look at our team and I feel really good about our club. It’s a good eight we’re running out there. I don’t know how we could have ended it any better to kind of get momentum for next year. I know guys are going to be looking forward to spring training and seeing what we can do having this team together from the get-go.”
(Enters clubhouse pushing his infant son in a stroller, says the boy has become his “good luck charm”)
What were you feeling at the start of the game?
“A lot of emotions. The crowd, and the emotions that I felt in the place and on that mound were unbelievable. I came with my best stuff and I wanted to go because everybody was excited, and I’m glad I had my stuff. I couldn’t make it any better than that.”
“It was special to see the crowd, looking for a win, that’s the way we wanted to win and close this book. I’m proud of myself and the job that I did the whole season.”
On team’s strong finish
“We put everything together. I’m proud of the guys and how well that we did. I know it was kind of hard at the beginning of the year, but we kept our minds where they needed to be. I’m glad we finished strong, that’s the way we want to come next year. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but that’s the way we want to start and finish.”
You already excited about next year?
“Yeah, this year is over. Now we’ve got to think about next year. I know it’s a long way to go, but that’s our next step.”
Seemed like a perfect way to end it, huh?
“Yeah, it’s a lot of pitching, a lot of history in this ballpark. For it to go down in a 1-nothing game, Julio and Verlander, that’s kind of a perfect ending.”
On Teheran appeared pumped up from the start
“Yeah, from pitch 1 he was 94-95 (mph fastball) and a slider, it was pretty spectacular to watch. We got pretty good pitching performances the last couple fo days with Blair and Julio. Very, very fitting for it to end like that.”
On comparing this finish to season to 2010
“I think so, obviously 2010 was Bobby’s last game, you’ll never forget that. With this one being the last game at Turner Field it’s kind of an emotional thing. I spent seven seasons here, big-league debut and everything. I’m always going to remember this place, it has a lot of special, special moments for me. I’m just happy we won the last game.”
On his personal hitting tear over last 3 ½ months of the season
“It’s kind of rewarding. Being hurt last year and coming into spring training not knowing what it’s going to do, and getting off to the start I did, it’s pretty rewarding I was able to finish strong like I did. I limped to the finish line, but limped in with the last RBI at Turner Field, so it’s going to be something to hold onto.”
On the team’s 50-47 record since 18-46 start, and winning 20 of last 30 games
“A lot of people going into spring training next year are going to look at our overall record and kind of write us off. But what we did the last 2-3 months was pretty special, and ever since we got Kemp, he came in here and changed this lineup. We’ve been a force to be reckoned with the last couple of months. Ultimately a lot of people are going to look at our record, but we’re a completely different team (now) and a lot of people didn’t want to play us at the end.”
On new ballpark
“I may be making a few trips over this offseason to check on it. We did a tour a couple of weeks ago and it looked pretty spectacular already. I’m looking forward to start making memories there. It’s going to be a good thing, and hopefully we can have this offseason go pretty quick.”
“He threw the ball great all day. He was pretty pinpoint, had multiple pitches working, getting ahead of guys. It was pretty awesome.”
Did it seem like he was particularly jacked up, i.e. his velocity?
“Yeah, in the first inning, I don’t know if I’d ever seen him throw 95, since I’ve been here at least. But even after that, it was 91-93, but it was playing up like it was 95-96. It felt the same, too. He’s always had that, though. He doesn’t have that high-velocity numer, but it gets on people, it gets by them, and when he has command like he did today it’s a lot of fun catching him and I wouldn’t want to try to hit (him).”
On the special day
“All the people that came in that have played here, coached here, been here, that had a lot of involvement in this stadium. I think that really was kind of a climax of the buildup that we’ve had, at least for a couple of years…. Today’s a happy day. It’s always nice to go out that way. Three runs would have been better than one, though.”
What will you take from this day, if one thing?
“Probably the way Julio pitched. That gives me more satisfaction than anything else I can do on a personal level. I mean, I think it’s a big moment for a lot of people involved with the team and the stadium, but I definitely think about how well he pitched today on a pretty big stage.”