Post-game quotes: ‘I don’t think anybody plays for second place’

CHIPPER JONES quotes

on his go-ahead RBI hit: Skip [Bobby Cox] originally told me I was going to lead off the inning, and we knew Mac was going to hit third probably, hitting for the pitcher. Then he throws ‘Ski [Hinske] up there [pinch-hitting instead of Chipper] to lead it off, and he told me he wanted me to hit for Infante. And you know if we get that deep in the inning that the game is going to be on the line. There’s going to be ducks out there. So I was mentally ready, ever since their guy hit the two-run homer to tie it.

“They’ve got some guys who can run it up there really good in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, 97-98 miles an hour. I missed the first [pitch], but got just enough of the second one.” [he laughs]

On the team’s lastest last-at-bat win: “It’s not often than you leave as many runners on base as we did today and you come out with the win. We left the bases loaded a couple of times, less than two outs – against good ballclubs that’ll come back and bit you, but we were resilient enough today to get the job done late. Another last at-bat win, just keeps on giving us confidence in those late innings, that someone’s going to step up and do it.”

On whether the Phillies are due: “With that lineup it’s just matter of time before they bust loose. Fortunately I like our pitching staff, and I think our pitching staff can continue to hold them down. We miss Halladay. We miss Moyer, who we haven’t scored on this year. That again works in our favor. We’ve got Tommy, Tim and D-Lowe maybe? So we’ve got our top three pitchers going.

“Don’t get greedy, just go out and win the series. We’ve got to hold serve here at home. We’ve been playing really well this month. Let’s end it by starting off tomorrow on a good note against the Phillies with a win.”

On Kawakami: “It was kind of a downer for him, thinking he had Jones struck out, then came back and walked him. And really the only bad pitch he made all day was the next one, and the guy hit it for a two-run homer. Just goes to show you, you can’t let up, no matter who you’re playing, no matter who you’re facing. It’s unfortunate – he deserved to win. We’re trying like heck to get him that first W, but I think that he’ll tell you he’s happy he kept us in the game and allowed us to win, at least.”

On Braves’ turnaround in recent weeks: “We go through a nine-game losing streak and everyone’s saying we’re going to be 10, 15, 20 games out late in the season, and low and behold the Phillies go through a streak similar to what we were going through in April. It happens. It’s like when you’re hitting rocket shots at people and they’re getting caught. Eventually you’re going to hit a couple of jam jobs that fall in to help you win a game.

“It all keeps coming back around if you just keep pressing on.”

Turned around when: “We got the best on-base percentage guys we’ve got at the top of the lineup. Obviously with the way Nate can run, it’d be ideal to have him up there if he were hitting better and his on-base percentage were better. But Prado and Heyward in the top two spots, my on-base percentage is up around .400, it gives the rest of the lineup a lot of opportunities to hit with guys on base and hit with guys in scoring position. You’re seeing Mac’s numbers go up, Troy’s numbers go up, everybody’s numbers are going up. It helps. It’s a domino effect. I said early on in the season, when the top of the lineup starts clicking, we’ll score runs. Unfortunately we weren’t doing that in April.”

What can you say about Heyward at this point? “I mean it’s becoming old hat. I honestly thought that he was going to do something special in that last at-bat. You’re facing a left-handed submarine pitcher, you’re 20 years old, never seen him before, and he hits a rocket-shot triple, down 0-2 [in the count]. It’s just … he’s amazing. Nothing surprises me. He’s playing like an All-Star.”

On mood going into Philly series: “Relaxed. It’s not a series where we have to go out and win all three games to go out and fill good about ourselves, which is the way it’s been the last year or two. We’ve been six, seven games out and had to make hay against them and try to sweep them. That puts a lot of pressure on you. We’ve still got a hundred-plus games to go. We’re playing well, they’re struggling a little bit. Just go out and play, have fun, do the same things we’ve been doing for the last month and whatever happens, happens. It’s not do-or-die whether we win the series, whether we lose the series. We’re certainly going out there trying to take tomorrow’s game, and hopefully at least one more win will follow.”

BOBBY COX quotes

On Kawakami: “He’s had back-to-back beautiful ballgames. Ended up walking Jones, and Clement hit a fastball out. But he threw great all day long. He’d only given up one or two hits going into that inning. I thought he did a great job. He held us there.

“I wish we had gotten him five or six runs during the course of that ballgame. We left a lot of guys on. But we got ‘em in at the end. I guess that’s when it counted the most.”

“Our bullpen just did a fantastic job, and clutch hitting – Chipper got the winning run in, and the kid, he just [never] ceases to amaze everybody. I think the count was 0-2, and he hit a bullet. Those were huge [hits].”

On Philly series: “We play the schedule. Every series is big for us. That’s the way we play the schedule. That’s the way we do it.”

On having Chipper and couple other regulars to pinch-hit Sunday: “When you rest people, you’ve got a lot of weapons on the bench. It could be in the fifth or sixth inning, or whatever. A lot of people don’t look at it that way, but I’ve always talked to other managers about resting guys and tell ‘em what a plus it can be to give a guy a little bit of a rest, and if you really need them you’ve got all these weapons sitting on the bench ready to go at any time.”

“Those three guys at the top, we talk about it a lot, but they’ve been getting on base so much. That’s a tremendous 1-2-3 punch of high on-base percentage for the other guys. Troy drove in the first two runs today.”

on Prado: “Prado can hit first, second or third, for me. He’s that type of hitter. And he’s not only having a great year with the bat, he’s having a great year with the glove. He’s been fantastically polished at second base.”

On last at-bat wins: “You better have some of those. Most teams at the top are winning games like that.”

More on the Philly series (a few reporters wouldn’t give up): “We play the schedule. You want to win in your division. We’ll give it everything we’ve got, but if another club was in here it’d be the same. I’d expect nothing less.”

On whether he got to talk to Kawakami: “I talked to him downstairs and I talked to him after the game. What are you going to do? He knows he pitched good; that’s the most important thing. And the team won. That’s all he cares about.”

on the rain threatening in ninth  inning (again): “That was as dark as it got all day. When the ninth inning started, I said, ‘Ed [Mangan, groundskeeper], it can’t be. It can’t happen.’ He said, ‘We’re ok.’”

JASON HEYWARD quotes

on importance of Phillies series: “As a team, we’re taking every series the way we have been all year. Going out and doing it.”

How nice going in with first place on line? “I mean, you play for first place all year. I don’t think anybody plays for second place or anything lower than that. We’re going out and looking forward to playing a good series again.”

On last-at-bat wins giving them confidence: “We’re comfortable as a team throughout the whole game, and even more so in last at-bats. We seem like a very patient team, not trying to do too much. Every at-bat’s a team at-bat. I don’t think anybody gives any at-bats away, from the first inning to the last. That just helps us even more late in the game.”

On Kawakami not getting a win: “To be honest, today I’m happy he didn’t get the loss. That’s the biggest thing, I’d have to say, because that game could have gotten out of hand. They had the big home run after that little misread play or what have you. It would have been easy for anybody to lay down out there. It was 2-2, but we came back and made it 3-2, and ended the game 5-2. That was huge that we hung in there and saved the game for him.”

On Prado: “Does his role. Doesn’t try to do too much. He can swing the bat, hit the ball out of the ballpark, move runners, go deep in counts and whatnot. I’d have to say that’s a good guy to have at the top of the lineup.”

On having three triples already: “I don’t know, how many of those am I supposed to have? It’s just big that we got the two extra runs.”

On expecting first place after Phillies series: “No expectations, as far as standings or anything like that, as far as right now. It’s the end of May going into June, we just expect to go out and keep playing the way we have.”

32 comments Add your comment

Hunter

May 30th, 2010
8:19 pm

First? Yes! Now I can sleep at night.

What do you all think about Wins and Losses as stats? There’s a new article on BR about it, using Braves players as examples. Check it out here:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/398961-quick-thoughts-on-wins-as-a-statistic

drbasic1

May 30th, 2010
8:50 pm

not as many nay sayers these days….those idiots must hve moved back to a Tech blog….

JD

May 30th, 2010
8:50 pm

I admit I never thought they would get within 1/2 G of 1st place after that 9 game debacle. Keep making me eat crow…may have some in a hoagie sandwich if we take 2 of 3.

jj

May 30th, 2010
9:00 pm

Is Bobby going to give Blanco a try in CF?I don’t understand why he did not start Hinske in LF and Melky in CF during this series with the Bucs.Bobby is great,but he puzzles the heck out of me.Let’s get Philly while they are down.Let the good times roll.

Michael Procton

May 30th, 2010
9:13 pm

No, jj. Blanco is a mediocre player in AAA, much less the bigs.

JSM

May 30th, 2010
9:13 pm

Well glad to see the guys playing so well. Had a feeling we were going to be OK this year. Nobody would listen when I said Glaus would do good they just kept running him in the ground but look at him now. Have a feeling Chipper is fixing to go on a tear also.Lets take two out of three from the Phils and see how they do chasing us.

Reality 4

May 30th, 2010
9:16 pm

I really wish KK got a win today. It is time to send McLouth to AAA. Jeff F was doing better than Nate is when he was sent down, wasn’t he? It’s true that the outfielder made a great catch in his second chance, but that would have been good enough for a sacrifice in the second inning.

SRF

May 30th, 2010
9:28 pm

I will be the first to admit that I did not believe in Glaus – and he is doing good, proving me wrong.

I hope that I am wrong about McLouth – but I just do not see it yet.

williamshakespeare

May 30th, 2010
9:33 pm

Why doesn’t TP work with Nate on his hitting mechanics? The guy has such a long swing. He needs to level out and take a shorter path to the ball. If he has to give up some power, so be it. And I actually think his power would be fine, because he’d be making contact more often.

What’s the deal with TP on this? Anyone?

ATL Shawty

May 30th, 2010
10:00 pm

I understand that everything is going great right now but still… everyone keeps talking about Heyward’s OBP like that’s all that he’s good for. Yes it’s great that he gets on base, but there’s still nobody that I would rather have at the plate with runners on than Heyward. I’d much rather have him in a position to drive more ppl in rather being a table setter. CJ is at the top of the league in walks, it would be great to have in on for Heyward, not to mention the great Prado.

hoho

May 30th, 2010
10:08 pm

“every at-bat is a team at-bat”…geez what a great quote from any player, especially our 20 yr old ALL-STAR! that quote really seems to sum him up well. Every player should actively think that way.

pj

May 30th, 2010
10:11 pm

After the 9 game downer, I lost faith. So glad I was wrong. This club is exciting. I worry that we aren’t exactly built for the postseason, but I’d be happy just to get there – and if we stay healthy, no reason why we couldn’t.

Something to think about… in a 7 game series, we might shape up well with Hudson, Hanson, Jair, Husdon, Hanson, Jair, Hudson – with D Lowe as an option.

Yeah yeah, too soon. Let’s take 2 of 3 against the Phils!

JasonBrave

May 30th, 2010
10:30 pm

As I enter middle-age, the phrase “my favorite player” takes on new meaning. When I was younger, it was always the “best” player, the guy who was simply the best athlete on the field. Reading J-Hey’s quotes, I realize that I appreciate more the attitude of the great ones now. “How many (triples) am I supposed to have.” I look forward to the next 10-15 years of watchin the “best” athlete with the right perspective and attitude.

bruce

May 30th, 2010
10:33 pm

Dave,
Thanks so much for giving us all these post game quotes… it’s great.. a fabulous addition. Greatly appreciated. Bruce

Roy Hobbs

May 30th, 2010
10:39 pm

Medlen has probalby been as valuable as anyone on the team, stepping in for JJ and really not missing a beat. If JJ can come back and play at last years level it just another shot in the arm.

With the caveat that I am not a great baseball mind, I would love to see Nate go to Gwinnett and have a three week vacation to get his head right. It would mean alot to this team to have him play well, both on the field and from a $$ perspective. Let Melky and/or Blanco play CF and give Nate a chance to fix whatever is going on. I just dont think it has to be a negative. He is better than he is playing, and everyone knows it, but nearly 1/3 of the season is gone.

Runnin

May 30th, 2010
11:37 pm

I love the team’s attitude right now. Jason’s quotes and approach to the game helps to keep the conversation real and down to earth. A guy like him will be invaluable as a team goes through the highs and lows of a long season.

joedub

May 30th, 2010
11:40 pm

“how many of those am i supposed to have?” haha gotta love the kid. heyward needs to be an all-star. i love that charlie manual is gonna have to choose TWO bravos for his bench for the summer classic!

ijudgenot

May 31st, 2010
12:35 am

Michael Procton

May 30th, 2010
9:13 pm
No, jj. Blanco is a mediocre player in AAA, much less the bigs.

And McClouth hitting at .188 and decending with a ton of strike outs is above mediocre?

YoungerThan ThatNow

May 31st, 2010
12:49 am

Jason Heyward just keeps on impressing… and his on field play is pretty good too! Seriously, has anyone ever seen a 20 year-old rookie that does what he does on the field and then fields questions and handles the “pressure of the press” the way this guy does. This is no “form of expression” or whatever you want to call it… he interviews like a ten to fifteen year veteran… and it just has to come natural for him. I mean you can’t anticipate questions like they’re throwing at him and give yourself a little time to practice your answer… these are “on the fly” answers, and they’re not just correct answers, they’re quote book material. And we haven’t even talked about what he does between the white lines.

Roy Hobbs… thanks for the Medlen comment. A few weeks ago some guy said that Medlen was “scrap heap material” or something to that effect, and I commented that a comment like that showed a total lack of knowledge or experience in evaluating pitchers. Medlen would be welcomed on most MLB starting rotations right now… I’m glad he’s an Atlanta Brave.

scottbravesfan

May 31st, 2010
1:20 am

Medlin without a doubt should remain in the rotation even after Jurrjens is back. His numbers are gaudy

[...] Chipper Jones on the Braves mood going into the series: “Relaxed. It’s not a series where we have to go out and win all three games to go out and fill good about ourselves, which is the way it’s been the last year or two. We’ve been six, seven games out and had to make hay against them and try to sweep them. That puts a lot of pressure on you. We’ve still got a hundred-plus games to go. We’re playing well, they’re struggling a little bit. Just go out and play, have fun, do the same things we’ve been doing for the last month and whatever happens, happens. It’s not do-or-die whether we win the series, whether we lose the series. We’re certainly going out there trying to take tomorrow’s game, and hopefully at least one more win will follow.” [...]

newkid

May 31st, 2010
8:21 am

Is Heyward becoming to the Braves what a 1st year Lebron was soon to become to the Cavaliers? After less than two months in the big leagues, is he really amongst National League leaders in HRs, RBIs, OBP, OPS, BA w/RISP, etc? If this is morsel of what’s on the horizon, should someone knowledgeable crank up the marketing machine? Was there REALLY a debate (in these parts) two months ago as to whether he should return to Atlanta with the big club, or be sent to AAA until mid-June?

Since adding Lebron (even without a championship) the Cavs’ value has increased by almost $100 million, revenues up 40%, operating income up 100%, and attendance has gone from worst in the league to 3rd best. With the young pitching talent already with the big club, the strong pitching prospects in AA & AAA, the performance and charisma of Heyward, and steady improvements by players like Prado, could we be on the cusp of a new winning era with more revenue with which to attract more productive position players to supplement what’s on the farm?

How important was it to get Heyward at least a year under Cox, and at least a year on the field and in the club house with Chipper? If there is such a thing as ‘the Braves way’ and if fully learning this ‘way’ is important (e.g., “Every at-bat’s a team at-bat.”), isn’t it important enough to the team’s future to have your next de facto team leader fully pollinated by those who best represent this mystique? Could there have been a bigger mis-step than to send him to Gwinnett for two months with the mistaken notion that this would have ’saved’ the organization several million by delaying his free agency eligibility by a year? If management had began its big league journey with Heyward with such a cheap stunt (happyt this didn’t occur), might it have helped to ensure our ‘D. Jeter’ wnt packing at his first free agent opportunity?

Idot

May 31st, 2010
8:52 am

Idot

May 31st, 2010
8:55 am

shakespeare…….I’m sure that TP has given his advice to McLouth.

Weezer

May 31st, 2010
9:13 am

McLouth has proven in the past that he is capable of being a good major league player. Blanco has proven……..?

Castrologist

May 31st, 2010
10:27 am

Lebron is one big sissy compared to Heyward.

Let’s hope in 6 hours the Braves are in first place where they belong.

http://castrologist.tumblr.com

Long time Braves fan

May 31st, 2010
10:30 am

good post new kid. Please vote for Martin and Jason

Carroll Rogers

May 31st, 2010
10:33 am

Braves lineup 1. Prado 2B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Glaus 1B, 6. Hinske LF, 7. Escobar SS, 8. McLouth CF, 9. Hanson P.

twoiron

May 31st, 2010
10:48 am

Cannot spell Mclouth without OUT.

Count de Monet

May 31st, 2010
11:20 am

Love the line up, but I wish Melky was in center fot McOut.

Fire Frank Wren`

May 31st, 2010
11:28 am

Much ado about nothing. When they lost nine in a row to quality opponents, Philly, NY, St Louis, it was insignificant but when they beat Pittsburgh and they are world series bound. Dumb homers, the Atlanta Orioles are going nowhere.

CajunStorm

May 31st, 2010
11:44 am

Now that’s a nice lineup. Righty-Lefty from top to bottom and our best bats (-McClouth) on deck. Still wish Chipper and Mr. Heyward were switched but I hope for the teams sake that Chipper gets on a ridiculous roll which we ALL HOPE that he is still capable of.

Can’t wait until Jordan Schafer is ready. I believe he would give us the same Defense as McClouth is now and would at LEAST be 20-30 points on the BA. Anyway, can’t wait for a good game today!

One more thing…I think the Braves organization needs to get Freddie Freeman some time in left field. If Glaus is truly back, I’d Love to have him for 2 more years at about 3-5 Mill a season and havee Freeman in left. If Pujols and Miguel Cabrera can play Left for a short stint to get their bats in the lineup sooner so can Freddie.

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