What do you say to Conrad at this point?
“Not much. Everybody’s talked to him. We’ve encouraged him as much as we can.”
Will Brooks play tomorrow?
“I’ll have to sleep on it.”
With the lead, was there any thought of taking Brooks out for defensive purposes?
“No, we were down to player on the bench with Hernandez, one position guy, and we didn’t want to use Ross.
“To answer your [earlier] question on the lefty [Huff], if hits a double or a homer off Kimbrel, then you’re asking why we didn’t bring in the lefty. We don’t have Wagner. We don’t have O’Flaherty.”
Going forward, is that how it’s going to be in the ninth, alternating according to matchups?
“I have no clue. We’re playing it by ear the whole way. And we’re trying to win the game. We’re not trying to lose these games. We’re trying to win them.”
Heyward crashes into the wall and goes down, [McCann] trips on the bat and you don’t know if he’s OK … do you ever just feel like you’re going to run out of players and chances?
“Well, we had this one won. We gave up a walk, a base hit and a base hit. You know, we’re not that – we’re not the best team in baseball, okay, but we can win games and we can compete against anybody. But we can’t afford to make mistakes.”
On what Wagner told him
“He said just go home and get ‘em back tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a new day, and I’ll be out there again tomorrow. Just do my job.
“I want it tomorrow, I do. I didn’t get my job done tonight, and hopefully I can do it again tomorrow.”
On Braves relievers not knowing who was going to close tonight
“We didn’t [know]. It was me tonight, might be somebody else tomorrow. Just have to see.”
Surprised he took you out?
“No. I had my chances. A lefty was coming up, Huff. In that situation, bring in a lefty for that. But no, I wasn’t surprised.”
“I’ve never experienced that range of emotions on a baseball field. Most emotional game I’ve ever been a part of. The second one, the other day, ended a lot happier than this one. But we battled. That’s what we did all year, and that’s what we’re going to come back and do tomorrow.”
How do you bounce back from loss like this?
“We’ll see. We think we know how to bounce back. We’ve bounced back all year. We really stunk it up today for seven innings, then all of a sudden we took the lead. So that’s what our team’s about, and that’s what we’ll show tomorrow.”
“He’s probably everyone in here’s favorite teammate. You hurt for him, but also, everyone in the dugout was rooting for him to come up there in the ninth inning. We haven’t lost any faith in him.
“This should be the time of his life, playing in the playoffs his first full season in the big leagues. Hopefully he can relax and start having some fun with it.”
You think he’s pressing now?
“I don’t think you can help but press a little bit. Who knows?”
Do they need to make a change at 2nd base?
“That’s up to Bobby. I have no idea. Probably not. Bobby’s proven that he’s loyal, over and over again. Who know what will happen tomorrow? If Brooksy’s in there, I know 24 other guys in here that are very happy about it.”
“You just keep patting him on the back and do the best you can to let him know you’re glad he’s in there. We’re glad he’s a part of this team. Everyone, to a man, feels that way.”
What must be done to get the offense going?
“We need to start putting together better at-bats. Lincecum had a great game against us the first night. We didn’t get going against Cain at all [in Game 2]. Then tonight, they struggled early, too. You know how it is early, 4:30 game, it’s impossible to see spin on any ball early. Both pitchers kind of took advantage of that. We gave them an unearned run.
“As a hitter you just try to get through those first four innings and start seeing the ball better in the fifth, and we did. He just did a good job of minimizing damage and not giving up any hits.”
The range of emotions
“It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a baseball field, being part of that. Then one of the worst 30 minutes later. When Hinske did that, it was like, ‘Here we go again. This is our team. This is what we’ve done all year.’
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold it today.
“We think the series is a long way from over. All they did was take home-field advantage back. If we win tomorrow, they’ve still got to win Game. 5. And anything can happen in Game 5.”
On Conrad’s run of errors on defense:
“It’s unfortunate but slumps in the field happen just like slumps at the plate do. Keep coming to work and hoping to iron it out.”
On how hard it is to see him deal with this:
“It’s very hard. There’s no a guy in here that wouldn’t take Brooks Conrad in their fox hole any day. We love the guy to death. He works his tail off. He deserves better than what happened to him today, but it’s part of the game. It’s happened to all of us. It’s happened to the best players. It’s just unfortunate because we want so bad for him to be successful.”
On if he’s talked to him about relaxing out there:
“No, but I will. This time of year, you’ve got to have that pulse that never wavers. When the chips are down, you’ve got to be calm and want the ball hit to you. We’re all confident he can go out there and do a really good job at second base. Just for some reason, he’s had a couple of lapses. But knowing Brooksy, he’ll come out tomorrow and hit a three-run homer in the eighth to send this sucker back to San Francisco because guy’s just got a flair for the dramatic.”
On if he thinks Conrad will be in Monday’s lineup:
“I don’t know which way that one is going to go. Most of our viable options are on the DL.”
On what he said to Conrad on the field in the ninth:
“I was just trying to be there for him. We’ve all been there. Sometimes it seems that nothing good is going to happen to you. You feel like you’re on an island all by yourself. I didn’t want him to feel like that.”
On what he said to Conrad then:
“I didn’t say too much. What can you say?”
On wrapping his brain around the three-error game:
“You really can’t. It’s totally embarrassing. Once again I felt like I let everybody down. I feel terrible. It’s a whole lot to swallow but I’ll try to do my best to get over it. But it’s probably something you’re probably not for a long time, if ever. I feel absolutely terrible right now. I wish I could just dig a hole and go sleep in there. But it’s something you’ve got to get over quick. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”
On the ninth-inning error:
“Just coming right at me, one-hopper, tracked it the whole way, just trying to keep it in front at least. It just seemed to go right through me. It was a weird feeling. No excuses. It was a terrible overall performance tonight by myself.”
On the second-inning pop-up to allow a run:
“I was just going after it. I thought I had great position, just popped out on that one too. No excuses on any of them. It was all absolutely terrible. Just got to get over it.”
On if the Buster Posey grounder skidded and he expected to pop up:
“Yeah I might have, but there’s nothing to read into it except I didn’t make the play. Ball like that, you’ve got to have all those plays. It’s getting more ridiculous here on my part. But do the best to turn the page. Try better tomorrow.”
On support from his teammates:
“They’ve come up and said some nice things, but bottom line is I’ve got to play better. And I’m a lot better than what I’ve shown out there. That’s why I’m so embarrassed, and I feel like I let a lot of those guys down who have given me so much support this year. So it’s tough, but I’ve got some great teammates here and they’ve said some nice things. But it’s something where I’ve got to get out there and get the job done.”
On if it’s been heard to relax the last 4-5 days:
“A little bit but that’s another thing where you just got to play better. You’ve got to put those out of your mind and play the game. For some reason, it’s been rough. I’m embarrassed about it. That’s all I can say.”
On if he’d ask Cox for a day off to clear your head:
“No. it’s something where I just need to play baseball. It’s pretty stupid. Obviously I’m letting a lot of people down, but I’m not going to ask that.”
On the first inning error on the double-play ball
“It was a chopper, I was just going to flip it to second and just got caught up in there, and didn’t make the play. Just stupid mistakes.”
On if he thought he’d be in the lineup Monday:
“I don’t know.”
On whether he expected to be brought in
“My whole warmups was just based on, like I was facing [Huff].”
On the ninth inning
“They just hit it where we weren’t. It’s tough when they beat you like that. But we’ve got another game against them tomorrow. We’ve got to forget about this one was soon as we can and just go right back at it.”
“Give them credit. They did well in the ninth to rally and get a couple of runs. All we can do is go to sleep tonight and come back tomorrow.”
On his homer
“I’m just trying to make solid contact when I up to pinch-hit, and just get something up that I can handle. That’s about it. I try to swing early and swing at the first straight pitch I see. He threw a lot of sliders, and I happened to get one of those up [in the strike zone].”
On the emotional swing
“Eighth inning we go up 2-1 and hopefully we’re gonna win the ballgame. The toughest thing to do in baseball is get three outs in the ninth inning. That’s why those closers get paid a lot of money. It just didn’t work out. Got to forget about it. Got to have a short memory and come back here ready to get a W tomorrow.”
On Conrad’s errors:
“Just got to keep his head up. We love him more now than we ever have. So it’s just one of those things where he’s a little rough go at it in that aspect of the game, but we’re behind him. We wouldn’t be here without him. There’s no question about that. It was tough to see a teammate deal with some things like that but he knows we’re behind him. We have all the confidence in the world in him. Your heart goes out for him.”
On what Conrad has done for the team:
“He’s gritty. He gives you 100 percent. He goes out there and lays it all out. I know that he’s won single-handedly four or five games for us this year. So he’s a guy, we’re obviously rallying around. He’s a sparkplug, man. It’s one of those things where your father feathers get raised, when somebody says something bad about him. We hate that he’s being in the spotlight for something like this just because he doesn’t deserve it.”
On the game
“We fought and clawed till the end, and so did they. They went out there and scratched, and were down to their last strike, and were able to get something going. We just came up a little short. We didn’t quite have the breaks go our way that we needed to.”
“He’s been good all year. He’s a tough lefty. We knew it was going to be a tough task. The game was shaking out how probably everybody anticipated, probably not a lot of runs scored until close to the very end.”
On Hinske’s homer
“Hinske came up with the big homer, man. It was the shot in the arm that we needed, and it’s unfortunate we came up a little bit short there in the ninth. It’s heartbreaking, but we’ve got to come back out there tomorrow and put it behind us and get tomorrow’s win under our belt and head back out to San Francisco.”
On seeing Conrad struggle to this degree
“It’s tough to see any teammate go through a little bit of a struggle. Brooksy’s been such a great player for us all year, such a key player off the bench. He’s come up with big hit after big hit, big homer, so he’s just got to keep his head up. That’s the thing. Just keep his head up. We’re behind him.
“We’ve just go to rally around him and help him get through the little bit of …. I think it’s more between the ears than anything right now. But he’s going to be a good player for us in the future, and we expect him to help us win games.”
And a couple of bonus quotes from Giants, about Conrad:
(Said he said he put the barrel on it and thought the play would be made)
“You don’t ever wish that upon somebody. That’s just how the game is sometimes.”
(one 2b to another type of thing)
“Hope his spirts are up and he’s not taking it too hard. It’s a team game.”