“Huddy had outstanding stuff tonight, one of the best sinking and moving fastballs I’ve seen with him all year. He got off-target a couple of times, but by the fourth inning they already had four choppers for infield hits, and one chop error. That’s 25 pitches right there. Then a soft [hit] to left field, another five pitches. That’s 30 pitches on balls that were not hit. Made it tough on him with the pitch count. He could have gone eight or nine tonight, if those balls are hit just a little bit harder.”
“Yeah, it started with him. He kept us right there. Our bullpen was real good again, and Hinske and Conrad. Conrad hadn’t been playing, he got the big [triple], and Hinske got the big homer. He was 0-for-10 against him, but he got a pitch and hit it.”
On Conrad’s late-innings hits
“He’s won a ton of games here for us, or tied ‘em. He’s a great guy to have off the bench, and now he’s a regular.”
On update of Prado’s injury
“Bad news. He’s got to rest for two months, then start rehabbing. He has a hip pointer and the oblique tear. He’s got both. He’s got two problems.”
On how Conrad filled in earlier in season for Chipper
“He did a great job. That’s when Chipper announced his retirement, when Brooksy was doing so well.” (Cox laughs.)
On replacing Prado
“It’s OK. We still have a bench in September. We’re a little short, but nowhere [else] to go. Not short, but a guy or two short….”
On going with Hinske despite him being 0-for-10 against Sanchez
“He was 0-for-10, but he only punched out three times. So he hit some balls hard in-between.”
On Heyward’s catch of Uggla liner
“Oh, that ball – it wasn’t hit that hard, but he made a great play on it. If we don’t catch that….”
On pitching on short rest
“I don’t think it really bothers me too much, you’ve just got to adjust your workouts in-between and make sure you’re ready to go.”
On wild-card lead
“It’d be nice if we had about a three- or four-game lead. But it’s tight and there’s still a lot of baseball left. Four games is a lot of games left to be played when you’re only up by a half a game, or a game.
“Two games down, we’ve got four to go. We just need to win tomorrow.”
Think it’s going to come down to last game of season, with you pitching?
“I hope we have something locked up before then. But the way things are going, we anticipate it going down to the wire.”
On the Marlins’ run in third
“It was a crazy inning, how it got going and then the swinging bunts. But when I’m throwing my sinker and I’ve got a pretty good sinker going, there’s going to be some hits like that. You just hope they’re spread out throughout the game, not all in one inning like they were in the third.”
On Conrad and Hinske getting the big hits
“That’s what we have to do to win, we have to have guys step up, guys come in in different spots and be successful.”
“Brooksy’s been great all year. Obviously losing Martin is really tough, but we have a lot of confidence in Brooksy. He goes out there and he plays hard. He gives us all he has; that’s all you can ask.”
On drama of last two nights
“It’s great. We’re having a lot of fun right now. We’ve been having a lot of fun all season, but it’s down to the nitty-gritty now. We’ve only got a few games left, and to win those last two like that it’s real exciting.”
On his hits in the late innings
“I don’t know. I wish I could get more hits early in the game, especially when I get a starter. I don’t know, I got to see him a couple of times. He was lights-out there, even the inning where we scored those runs off him, he made some real good pitches. If you don’t make the most of anything over the plate, good luck with that. That inning we did, and that’s why we had a chance to win.”
On getting a chance to play
“With Prad going down, that’s obviously not what we’re looking for. He’s a huge part of our team. But we’re just going to have to put a lot more on the bench guys to step it up, and everybody else as well. We’re going to have to do that going forward, to keep winning games.”
Last two nights feel like earlier in the summer?
“Yeah. I mean, we had a lot of magic games there, a streak where it seemed like we were winning a lot of games like that at home. We’re going to have to keep doing that. You can’t win them all 6-nothing. You have to win those nail-biters and come-from-behind [games].
“If we’re going to be where we want to be, which is the playoffs, we’re going to have to keep doing it these next few games.”
“He pitched his butt off. He gave us a chance to win, only giving up one run. All the hits he gave up seemed like they were broken bats or dribblers, too.”
“Brooksy had a big hit in that inning. [I] was just trying to get a pitch out over the plate. He made a mistake and left a fastball out over the plate, and I put a good swing on it.”
Can past two nights energize team?
“Absolutely. No doubt. It’s do-or-die right now. We can’t lose games. It’s four games to play now, and you don’t want to let them get any ground on you at all. We’re leading right now and we know it, so we’re going to go out there and try to win every inning. Hopefully this is contagious. It’s momentum. Momentum’s big in this game.”
On Cox going to him despite being 0-for-10 vs. Sanchez
“He’s struck me out quite a few times. I haven’t had much success off him, and I didn’t really know if Bobby would go to me. Bobby said, ‘you’re up fifth.’ All I’m trying to do when I pinch-hit is get something out over the plate, straight, that I can drive. I was a little mad at myself for not swinging at the first pitch; he threw a first-pitch changeup that was kind of elevated, but I was looking fastball and would have been out in front of it.
“I tried to just stay back and get a pitch to hit, and I got it.”
On Conrad’s hit
“It was huge. When it’s stagnant on offense and not a lot of guys are getting hits, somebody needs to get a big hit to get it going. And that was Brooksy right there.”