“We’re not going to write him off yet. He’s done for his series. It’s an oblique. He did it on Edgar’s bunt, and for Billy go come off the mound it h ad to be hurting pretty bad. Obliques generally take a while.”
On getting ejected by umpire Paul Emmel
“I thought he was off the bag at least 6, 8 inches. If he calls him safe, Ankiel gets a base hit, Hanson bunts him over maybe and Infante [knocks him in] it’s a 3-2 game.
“I honestly wasn’t going to talk about it if we had gotten beat. It’s the umpire’s judgment, and they make great calls and miss some once in a while. I thought he was off the bag pretty far.”
Was there any lingering feelings from last night’s call Emmel blew?
“Well, I brought that up [in Friday's argument with Emmel]. The only run that scored last night, he was out, so… But still, I respect the umpires, and they’re human. So am I. I’m not always right.”
On Glaus’ daring throw to second baseman Infante to start double play
“I thought he did good job with it. I was proud of Troy. He hadn’t played in a long time, and he made a nice play. They turned a real tough double play.”
“I talked to [Royals manager] Ned Yost when we got him. He said he can carry your club for a period of time, and we’ve been waiting for that. He had a great night tonight, defensively and offensively. He’s got tremendous power. If you watch our batting practices, he’s the one hitting them all out of the ballpark.”
On the bullpen tonight
“Two nights in a row, we’ve been absolutely perfect. Tommy Hanson deserved better. He made one bad pitch, and Burrell’s really been good over here [with San Francisco]. We set up outside, the ball ran middle-in. He missed by about 10 inches, and that’s right in Pat’s wheelhouse.
“He had great stuff tonight. If he had pitched eight innings, he’d have struck out 12, 13 batters.”
On the must-win situation and being down 4-0 early
“You can never figure out baseball, for sure. I was telling guys before the game, win this one and the momentum swings the other day.
“It’s a great club to manage. There’s no problems on this club, they’re always hustling. They give everything they’ve got. We’re not the most talented club in the major leagues, but hard work and trying, dedication … we’ve got to be at the top.”
Any thoughts on your pitching plans for Game 4, your starter?
“I’m leaning right now to Derek [Lowe]. He threw, if you subtract the intentional walk, I think only 88 pitches [in Game 1 start], and he’s been politicking before the series started. And he’s good on three [days rest]. He didn’t throw a lot of pitches, he didn’t labor. Right now I would lean toward him, subject to change, but I don’t know why not.”
[Cox passes Ankiel as manager is leaving and Ankiel's on way to interview room. "Way to go Rick," Cox says. "Thanks, Skipper," says Ankiel, and hugs the manager. Cox then continues shuffling on down the hall, his steel spikes clanging on the concrete as he walks with a uniformed police officer on either side of him through a hallway also used by fans to enter the lower level of seats. There are no drunk Giants shouting at him tonight, like there were in this hallway after Thursday's postgame presser, when I was walking behind him and heard it all. Drunks must leave quicker after a loss.]
Get a shaving cream pie in face?
“I did. When I came in the guys were all over me. We celebrated as normally do, and it was fun.”
How does it feel, a homer in such a big game?
“It’s hard to describe or put into words. The biggest homer of my career, by far, and to be honest with you, I wanted to go from the batter’s box to the dugout. I didn’t want to run the bases. I wanted to be with the guys.
“But what a cool way to win.”
On this being a new postseason performance to remember, instead of what happened in the past [when pitching for St. Louis]
“I appreciate everything that’s happened. I appreciate the Braves bringing me over here on the deadline. And what a fun thing, what a cool thing to be part of, from Bobby retiring to all the way here. I can’t put into words how it feels.”
“To be perfectly honest with you, it never even crossed my mind to throw the ball home. That ball, for me, is a double play to second — in that situation –every day.”
On playing third base
“I’ve done it for a while. It’s been a while, but I did it for a long time.”
“They called on me to go play third, in a double-switch I assume. T.P. came to me and said, you’re going in at third. So I grabbed by glove and off we went.”
Not often you’ve been a defensive replacement in late innings?
“It’s probably the first time ever.”
Chipper said you said you felt like you were going to throw up
“Well, it’s probably something I’ve never done before, to come in to play defense in the ninth of 10th inning.”
“It’s been a little bit since I played third. About a month ago I played it third in Triple-A for about a week. Other than that, that’s about it.”
On being greeted by the Renteria bunt to start 10th
“It was a perfect bunt. I was thinking about it. I thought he might. But if I was 10 or 15 feet closer in, I’m not sure I would have gotten him anyway.”
On starting the double play
“I thought, if the ball’s hit hard to me, I’m going to second. If it’s hit soft, I’m going home. That’s all I thought about. The ball was hit hard enough and I threw it to second.”
“Omar did a great job. He kept his foot on the bag, with a bit of a stretch. Omar’s got a left-side-of-the-infield arm. And he got up on top, threw a seed to first, and it all worked out.”
On Glaus throwing to second to start double play with bases loaded in 10th
“I thought he was going to go home with it at first, just in case the double play wasn’t turned at second. But it got turned, so…”
Did you think ‘Oh, crap’ as you saw him turn to second?
“Just a little bit. [laughs.] Just a little bit. But that’s what makes baseball fun.”
“You’re always one pitch away from getting out of any situation. I was just trying to stay clear-headed and focused. I was real calm out there. I wasn’t worried about nothing, because I knew I was just one pitch away, and it worked out well.”
“He did well. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy.”
“Whoever’s writing this script, just keep doing it.”
“What a defensive replacement Troy was tonight. [Diaz chuckles.] No, but the saying in baseball is that [the ball] is going to find you. They bunted at Troy the first time, then he had to turn that double play. What an unbelievable turn on that double play. He got rid of it so quick, then Omar’s turn at second base was just ridiculous. And Farnsy made the pitch to get the ground ball.
“It was the big defensive play of the ballgame, and it was Troy, who hadn’t played third in a while.”
What did you think when he threw to second base?
“We didn’t know what to think. We’re like, is he going to step on third, is he going to go home, is he going to go … to second! Alright, there it goes.
“The funny thing is, I was yelling, ‘He’s done it before, guys.’ And he has. Obviously once he got the ball in his glove, we knew he was comfortable making the throw.”
On Ankiel’s homer
“That’s one of the farthest balls I’ve ever seen hit in person. The second-further ball ball I think was McCann’s flyout – 416 feet away. So to get one out of here is a blast. And I think he cleared the first row of kayaks. That’s a bomb.”
On the win
“It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at a baseball game. I was talking to Hinske and I said, this is the most fun I’ve ever had. And I thought for second and said, and I struck out. And he said, ‘That’s what the playoffs are about, man.’”
On Glaus’ throw to second
“He made his mind up, if that ball was hit to him he was going to turn two. He made the right play. He’s been doing that a long time. He can make that throw in his sleep, but he hasn’t done it in a while. That’s amazing. That was an amazing play.”
“Troy Glaus, you know, he’s been there and done that. This isn’t new to him, playoff baseball. The pressure. It’s not new to him, and he showed it. If I had that ball at third, I’d have choked it.”
On the three-run 8th
“Gonzo getting a pitch to hit off arguably one of the best closers in baseball right now. If we keep it close, we’ve got a great bullpen, great starting pitching, that’s the recipe for our team.”
On losing Wagner
“That’s tough. You can’t replace a guy like Billy Wagner. But we’re going to do everything we can to [overcome it]. We lost Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, we’ve lost a lot of key members of this team, and a lot of guys have stepped up.
“You saw what Kimbrel did tonight. He pitched a great game.”
“He’s here, he’s back in the playoffs, and a hero for the Braves tonight.”
“I think if you had been in here when everybody came off the field and went through the congratulatory line, you would see how people feel about him, and how all of his teammates have always felt about him. They’re always pulling for him. I mean, we absolutely mobbed him when he came in here.”
“I don’t think other players might have got quite the reception that he got, for the simple fact that he’s such a favorite here in the clubhouse.”
On Glaus’ play
“He came off the field and said he was about to throw up. Said he’s never really been put in for defensive purposes before [Chipper is laughing here, hardly able to finish the sentence.] When they hit it, I didn’t even know he was in the game. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Troy.’
“And he made a decent throw and we got the double play. It was just fun to see his reaction, because he literally looked like he was about to heave.”
On his side injury
“Oblique. I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow. It’s pretty sore right now, and I just have to come in tomorrow and do what they say. And hopefully if I’m not able to go in the next round, they’ll do well enough to get to the World Series. Hopefully I’ll be alright.”
“I went to field Renteria’s bunt, and when I tried to get out of Troy’s way, that’s when I felt a tweak. I tried to make a pitch, just get out there and finish the inning. After I made the pitch [to Torres] and tried to go toward the plate, I couldn’t move. Thank God he bunted it hard enough to get it back to me, or I couldn’t have made a play at all.”
On the Braves’ potential replacements for him
“I’m probably the worst one out there, compared to what they’re facing. I wouldn’t want to face our bullpen. You’ve got unknowns out there, they don’t have no patterns. You can’t gear up [as a hitter to face them]. Fourteen years of Billy Wagner, you know what’s coming. You don’t know what Kimbrel, Dunn and Venters are going to do.
“You’re in a good situation, you’ve got a veteran down there with Farnsworth, you’ve got some guys that have been there. It’s fun. They’re very capable of doing whatever Skip asks, and I’ve got all the faith in the world in them.”
“The kid’s impressed us all year long. This was a tough situation to be put in and he did well. I mean, I couldn’t have be more happy for our team. We respond every time somebody gets knocked out. We find a way to bounce back, and that’s the way it’s been all year.”
On Glaus’ play
“You know that one run is the game, so usually you see guys throw home and say, let me stop the game from being over. But I think he just understood the situation. That’s the great thing about experience. He’s probably made that play a thouand times. He knew he had plenty of time, and it worked out.”
“I faced him when he was almost unhittable as a pitcher. Then he had some tough times there. He didn’t quit. He kept his head up, went down to the minor leagues and worked on being an outfielder and a hitter. Now here he is, in the playoffs hitting a big-time home run. That’s a lot of respect.”
On this team’s late-innings drama and comeback wins
“I just told them, can we please score some runs in the first four or five innings, because I’m aging too quick here. But I guess it’s never boring.”
“This team never gives up, man. Our backs were against the wall. This was pretty much a must-win game. And it seems like every time it comes to that situation, we find a way to get it done. We’re sitting there down 4-1 against the closer who’s been lights-out all year, and we find a way to come through. It’s just fun to be a part of.”
“Yeah. You’re looking at going home down 2-0. I don’t know how many times that’s every been overcome. So this is pretty much a must-win game. We talked about it before. We came through.
“Now we’re going home 1-1. You’d like to win two, but you’ve got to be happy with the split.”