Heyward on Braves: ‘The effort is there every time’

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez cited right fielder Jason Heyward’s diving catch on Tuesday night as evidence that his club is still trying hard as the losses pile up and its postseason hopes dwindle.

The Braves trailed the Nationals 3-0 in the ninth inning when Heyward laid out to rob Wilson Ramos of a hit for the second out.

“Here we are down 3-0 down in the ninth inning of the (151st) game of the season and he’s leaving his feet and putting his body in a situation where he could hurt himself to make a catch,” Gonzalez said.

Heyward is in the lineup for tonight’s series finale at Turner Field and said he feels fine.

The Braves went down in order in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday for their fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games. Heyward said they haven’t packed it in.

“The effort is there every time,” Heyward said. “People can say what they want to say; that’s always part of it. But they no one is in here with us every day grinding. No one is in any clubhouse every day, so there’s a different perspective.

“I would say fans have something to be disappointed about as do we in here but at the same time we are … putting forth effort. We are going out there and trying to get something done. Sometimes the other team puts a better foot forward.”

The numbing lack of offense has seemed to sap the life out of the Braves, who now are long shots to earn an NL wild card berth.

Gonzalez said a lack of production shouldn’t be confused with a lack of effort.

“I hope people are not questioning that,” Gonzalez said. “They can question that we are not a very good offensive team or we swing and miss too much but not the effort. I take that personally. You see the guys running around.”