Braves’ quotes after opening win at Washington

manager FREDI GONZALEZ

“I tell you what, from D-Lowe all the way to Craig at the end, we had a lot of good things happen. Defensively, Gonzalez a couple of nice plays.

“D-Lowe had that sinker going good and even the base hits he gave up were choppers or balls through the infield. That’s a nice sign to see from a sinkerball pitcher.”

On Chipper Jones’ double:

“That’s was good baserunning. That’s the kind of stuff we like to see. He goes out there at age 38 – he’s probably feeling pretty good opening day – he got a double, then a base hit from the right side. I hope that keeps up for a while.”

On Jason Heyward homering for the second consecutive Opening Day:

“Maybe we need to trick him on Saturday, tell him it’s Opening Day again. He hit that ball a ton. The very next inning, I thought Ankiel got his, and he made it the the warning track. It tells you how strong this guy Heyward is

On rookie 1B Freeman’s scoops:

“That’s not surprising. We saw that in spring training. His reports from the coaches that had him in the minor leagues were, this guy can do some things around the bag.”

On Moylan’s big strikeout against Laynce Nix:

“They pinch-hit Nix there when we brought in Moylan, and he used that changeup pretty good. If he can do that – and we encourage him to do that more often – there’s no reason why he can’t face both sides. We know how tough he is to the right-handed hitters, but if he starts doing that to the lefties – wow.”

On using Kimbrel clean inning, not Venters to face LaRoche first AB in 9th:

“We talked about that, and I said, we could be Johnny Manager here and left Venters face LaRoche. Roger goes, you know what, let’s just bring him in for a clean inning. If he’s got a mess, let’s let him get in own mess. In a perfect world, Venters gets him out. But if not, a base hit, now we’ve got to bring Kimbrel in with a runner on.”

On first win as Braves manager: “Obviously you want to win the ballgames, but it doesn’t feel any different. A win’s a win. I’m wearing this uniform and wearing it hopefully for a long time time and we get a lot of wins.”

On the cold: “I didn’t feel nothing, to tell you the truth.”

On Heyward: “Hasn’t even turned 22 yet. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, or just staying on the field, being healthy and having a good year instead of having something nagging, this guy can put up some big numbers.”

***DEREK LOWE

“This was the calmest I’ve been on any opening day. I really felt like I didn’t have to worry about mechanics, which is always my downfall. I felt very confident in the spring I had, and the way it ended last year. Hopefully I can have more months like September this year, and not wait till the last [month].

“I know there’s going to be bumps in the road, but I feel like this year I’ll be able to regroup faster.”

“We know we’re a good team and we’ve got a long way to go.”

On throwing 59 strikes in 105 pitches:

“It was a lot of pitches. I was kidding Roger – it felt like there were times out there I was just playing catch by myself; nobody was swinging. In that way it was an interesting game, but all in all, we’ll take it.”

“We got those two early runs and was able to not be in a lot of trouble, which is great for your first start. The first two innings there were guys on base and we were able to get through that.

On winning again on opening day:

“Just happy with it. The buildup in the last couple of weeks, you start really looking forward to it. I’ve always tried to get off to maybe too good a start. I felt more confident this year than I’ve felt in many years, so it was good to go out there and see the right things happen.”

“I’d faced these guys twice in the month of September. I think maybe that’s why there was a lot of trying to figure each other out. I didn’t want to pitch the same exact way that I did last time, because with technology you can kind of figure it out [patterns through watching video]. So it was kind of a cat-and-mouse game; that’s probably why I threw such a high number of pitches in a short amount of time.”

On Heyward’s homer and how hard he had to hit it to get it out Thursday: “People don’t understand, I probably should have given up two home runs, on a normal day. The one LaRoche hit, for sure, was a home run, and Ankiel the same way. Those were two balls that probably later in the year are home runs. Just kind of thankful that it was 40 and drizzling rain.”

“We kind of know his power. He’s a special player.”

On the ‘pen:

“Our bullpen is going to be some kind of good all year long. We have every type of situation covered out there, and we’ll be very happy to turn the ball over to whoever they bring in in the late innings.”

On winning for Fredi: “You know he’s excited to kind of fill in for a legend, and to give him his first win, it’s nice.”

***CRAIG KIMBREL

“It felt real good. I was still nervous – I’m going to be nervous every time I go out there. Nervous and excited.

“Hopefully this season me and Jonny are going to have a lot of opportunities to do that, because if we’re put in those situations that means we’re winning a lot of ballgames.”

Being used back-to-back with Jonny Venters: “Whatever order it’s in, that’s going to be good.”

“Awesome game. Everybody did their part today, and that’s why we got a W.”

Did he even feel the cold with all his adrenaline:

“It was cold. When I got back in here I had to take my shoes off so I could let my toes thaw out.”

**** CHIPPER JONES

Were you going to try to stretch it for double all way?

“Yeah, just for the simple fact that he had to go to his left towards the line, and it was wet. I felt that if I rounded first before he got to the ball, it was going to be a tough play for him. I was busting it out of the box. I didn’t necessarily want to slide, but I had to. And Mac got the hit right after that. We had the 1-nothing lead and J-Hey tomahawked one.”

“Can’t say enough about our defense today. It was outstanding.”

On Heyward’s homers on first two Opening Days

“Yeah, I saw that he was one of two players in major league history to do that. That’s surprising. And the other was Kaz Matsui; it’s really surprising that he did it. I can see J-Hey doing it, but Kaz Matsui? Come on.”

On the Braves’ pitching:

“You want to stay away from long innings out in the field, and we did that. I don’t think we had an opposing first hitter get on base all game. And you’re going to win a lot of ballgames when you keep the leadoff guy off base.

“And when we did get in trouble, D-Lowe made a big pitch or somebody made a big play to get out of it.”

On Livan settling down after giving up two runs early:

“I was commenting to Uggs in BP, it’s these kind of conditions where whoever gets out in the lead after five or six innings usually has the upper hand, because it gets harder and harder to hit as you get colder and colder. You stand out there long enough and it’s hard to come up and try to time 90, 95 miles an hour.

“Our guys were awesome coming out of the bullpen. Everybody was outstanding.”

On winning in Fredi’s first game

“He’s 1-0. He’s undefeated as a Braves manager. It was good to that first one out of the way for him, for us, and for the fans of Atlanta.”

On Fredi replacing Bobby, how’d it feel in dugout:

“I didn’t think about it one pitch of one inning the entire day. When you’re out there between the lines – nothing beats the adrenaline of opening day. You’re so focused and so locked in, trying to get the season off to a good start for you personally, for the team, and quite honestly, even when he came out to make pitching changes, I never thought of it.”

***FREDDIE FREEMAN

On big defensive plays being as big as a key hit

“I feel like it is. It’s a tough situation. If I don’t pick that up [bounced throw from Gonzalez], all of a sudden you’ve got a bloop and it’s first and third. You can change a ballgame. That’s why I work so hard at it, because it wins ballgames.”

On his first game as new starting 1B:

“I wasn’t nervous at all. It was weird, it felt like it was just another ballgame. I think that month last year really helped me out for this situation today.

“I had a lot of fun, especially getting that first win.”

On  his pal Jason Heyward’’s homer:

“That’s two years in a row, first at-bat. I guess we’ve got to keep that going next year.”

What did you say to him afterward in dugout?

“Again?”

“I was just happy for him. It was pretty impressive to see from the side angle. He hit that ball hard. He had to get it out today.”

On Lowe: “When you have sinkers and sliders going – he was throwing sliders 3-2, 3-1. He just had some much command today, and with the defense we had behind him today, with that kind of pitching, those sinkers, there’s a lot of ground balls and we caught them all.”

On his first opening day:

“I took everything in, from waking up and coming to the ballpark, seeing my name on the lineup, that’s special. For us to get a win, that makes it even more special.”

On ending the revolving door of Braves first basemen

“That’s my goal. I’m going to work hard and hopefully I can stay here.”

Do it for a few years?

“Hopefully many more than that.”

***JASON HEYWARD

On hitting another opening day homer, just a fluke?

“It’s only been two, so it’s not a bad way to start.”

“What, [only] two guys [have done it]? That’s pretty cool.”

On homering to help get a lead and help Fredi win first game:

“We just wanted to help Fredi win his first game, it didn’t matter how we did it. Whether we won it in the last inning or jumped out early, it’s just great to help him win his first game. I congratulated him.”

Did you know it was gone?

“Mine was more of a line drive. I didn’t think it was going [as it came] off the bat.”

“It’s awesome to get out to an early lead, give D-Lowe some breathing room against this new lineup the Nationals have. I really didn’t feel safe the whole game. Just happy to get through it and glad our pitchers held them.”

On the homer pitch:

“Cutter. He got it up. The last homer I got off Livan, I think he did the same thing. He just got a pitch up. I was fortunate to get a mistake.”

“You go up there with a plan. You want to see something good to hit and try and jump on the first good pitch you get from Livan, because he’s able to make so many close pitches.”

You think about it being first at-bat homer again on opening day as rounding bases?

“This time, yeah. It’s evident right away. It’s first game, it’s freezing out there and your mind’s going a few more places than it normally would.”

“It’s huge to be up 2-0, and great to get ahead with that lineup they had today.”

66 comments Add your comment

eskippy

March 31st, 2011
6:53 pm

Couch Tater

March 31st, 2011
6:59 pm

Thanks, Dave.

flange1

March 31st, 2011
7:05 pm

DOB,

Love the end of the game quotes! One of my favorite things to read.

Thanks again for all you do for us!

Runner-

March 31st, 2011
7:06 pm

Professor Mark

March 31st, 2011
7:07 pm

I saw a complete game today. Base starts with pitching, saved by good defense, and won by timely hitting and saved by a solid bullpen. The Braves dominated in a facets today.

Dennis Reynolds

March 31st, 2011
7:10 pm

Sounds like Heyward is getting more comfortable with media and answering questions. I cringed watching some of his interviews last year.

Great game though. Great to see Uggla’s arms busting out of an Atlanta jersey….

What?..

David from Athens, AL

March 31st, 2011
7:13 pm

great comments!

Alex

March 31st, 2011
7:25 pm

Love the post game quotes as always. Great work Dave!

Just Pat

March 31st, 2011
7:27 pm

Ditto flange1 @ 7:05.

dawg4u

March 31st, 2011
7:43 pm

Thanks DOB. You are really good at what you do and looking forward to a fine season for the Bravos.

Clayton H

March 31st, 2011
7:47 pm

Great win today. Hopefully the first of many this year.

Justice

March 31st, 2011
7:54 pm

Indeed. I’d bet that no other team’s fans get to read so many quotes after each game. So much great content here, every time. Thanks DOB!

DaveinNEPA

March 31st, 2011
7:57 pm

If they had written a script for today’s game it couldn’t have been any better. Chipper gets a couple of hits, Heyward hr, Lowe very good and the pen absolutely lights out. All the things we waited out the winter for.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season because this could be a very good team.

Brava

March 31st, 2011
8:04 pm

Thank you for the quotes, DOB. This is one of my favorite things about the regular season. :)

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2011
8:13 pm

Brava, Nolie, Justice, Flange, all others who commented about the quotes: Glad you all enjoy them. They’re a pain in the arse to transcribe, the reaction from so many tells me they’re worth continuing.

JoshTown

March 31st, 2011
8:13 pm

Thanks, DOB! Congrats to the guys in the clubhouse! Gonna be a great season.

Largo

March 31st, 2011
8:22 pm

Great game today!

JaxNCBravesFan

March 31st, 2011
8:31 pm

I thought Chipper was going to be suspended for the first game of the season. Did he appeal so he can serve it later, did he get the suspension dropped or what?

deezcoons

March 31st, 2011
8:32 pm

does anyone proofread these things? It’s like an eight year old wrote this with all the spelling errors. come on Dave

Braveone

March 31st, 2011
8:39 pm

DOB – Really enjoy the quotes!! Thanks for taking the time to transcribe! Would a voice to text application help to transcribe the quotes?

Kat

March 31st, 2011
8:41 pm

David, I’ll reiterate other comments by saying thanks for the great quotes. It’s always cool to know the team’s thoughts and perspectives on the game.

Piedmont Blues

March 31st, 2011
8:45 pm

DOB,

Echoing the other comments. Many thanks for the quotes. Transcribing is indeed a bear, so this is much appreciated.

Braves fan in Boston

March 31st, 2011
8:45 pm

Dave, the quotes are awesome! Really appreciate the detail. Great start to the season!

Michael C

March 31st, 2011
8:45 pm

Have to agree on the quotes. Starting sometime last year, I noticed them and they immediately became the second thing I checked after the score.

NevadaBravesFan#10

March 31st, 2011
8:55 pm

Thank you DOB for the quotes–It helps feel the excitement of the players and the game. I know you go over and above what you have to with your job. Braves fans really appreciate your expertise.

kd

March 31st, 2011
8:58 pm

DOB! – the quotes are great. Thanks

Josh

March 31st, 2011
9:04 pm

Go Braves!

Check out the blog! http://www.atlantainsight.com

Home of the Braves

March 31st, 2011
9:36 pm

This is my favorite thing that you do, DOB. I love the way you write, but I like the way you provide such a large amount of almost completely uninterrupted quotage for all of us who aren’t as close to the players.

Keep up the great work.

Big Cahunar

March 31st, 2011
9:53 pm

Ole McOut was 0-fer again. Same old Nate. I told you he hasn’t changed. I didn’t see a quote from Nate ?

Big Cahunar

March 31st, 2011
9:56 pm

But Nate woulda said “I felt great. I know everyone thinks I’m still the .190 hitter but I had a great spring. I’ll be smashing balls soon.”

But he should say “I’m still in that season-long slump I had last year. I don’t have the answer. I wish those AA pitchers were on MLB teams…”

Mike

March 31st, 2011
9:58 pm

I liked what I saw from Lowe today. He looked solid overall. It looked to me though like the cold was affecting his legs. I saw a few times where he would do like 2 or 3 butt kicks to try to keep his legs loose. Overall I thought he was awesome but with what I perceived to be his legs tightening up that is why his pitch count went up.

Skank Bernards

March 31st, 2011
9:59 pm

Heyward woulda got an extra at-bat hitting 2nd but Nate got it. Ouch !

Skank Bernards

March 31st, 2011
10:03 pm

Brava,Nolie,Justice,& Flange are all the same idiot that blogs under 5,000 made up names.

Mike

March 31st, 2011
10:05 pm

@Big Cahunar It is 1 game. You know who else had 0-fers? Prado, Uggla, Freeman. McLouth had at least 1 decently hit ball that was taken away by an even better defensive play. Just another example of a “fan” who knows nothing about what happened. Also tell me. What did Nate do last Spring against those AA pitchers? He hit a whooping .142. You act as if players only face minor league pitchers and ST which is wrong. I expect a decent year from McLouth even if you or any other Braves fan does not.

Younger Than That Now

March 31st, 2011
10:15 pm

This is why I follow the blog DOB. You can get the meat and potatoes anywhere, even in just the boxscore… but the things we get here are the behind the closed door things that only the privilidged get to read… and it’s yours for the taking. Don’t even have to ask.

And besides that you get you get tips on good ‘que and music too… more bang for the buck! And when the lovely Carroll pinch hits, it’s just like a vintage Hinske at bat… it’s always gonna be good and productive, but sometimes she hits right out of the park! Can’t beat it!

Thanks guys… and we hope you have a great 2011 season!

Eric B

March 31st, 2011
10:17 pm

Big thanks to DOB for the comments and what a great game on such a cold and rainy day. Had to listen online but enjoyed every minute of it. Really nice to see Kimbrel come in and close it out with no problem and Lowe seemed to be pitching a lot like he did late last season which is a good thing.

Skank Bernards

March 31st, 2011
10:21 pm

I expect .150 from Nate. I’ll probably get it unfortunately…

Skank Bernards

March 31st, 2011
10:23 pm

After the 10th game of 0-fers from Nate you’ll be leading the charge to remove him,Mike,Flange,Eric B,and all the other 5,000 names you are…

In Fredi I Trust

March 31st, 2011
10:25 pm

I have a great feeling about this team this season.

Younger Than Mike's Dog

March 31st, 2011
10:26 pm

Why Nate playing ? He ain’t no hitter. Can they trade Nate ? Put Young in CF !

Eric C

March 31st, 2011
10:28 pm

I never run out of names…

Mike

March 31st, 2011
10:30 pm

I’m just kidding Big Cahunar. I really agree with you but I got to act like I don’t .

Mike

March 31st, 2011
10:31 pm

No I wont Skank Bernards. I am actually one of the most patient people when it comes to player performance. I was still pulling for Glaus at the 1st month. I was the only person who as defending KK last year after most of the people on here just looked at his record and said yeah he sucks. Any real baseball fan knows W-L for a pitcher is really overrated.

Ryan c

March 31st, 2011
10:36 pm

Dob, when Lowe was taken out of the game, he said something that made all of the guys laugh pretty hard. Any way of finding that out tomorrow? Also, serious props for doing the comments. We love it. Go braves!

Caleb

March 31st, 2011
10:38 pm

Great game by the bravos!!! Thanks DOB for the quotes

kelly

March 31st, 2011
10:42 pm

Thanks DOB,
What a classy team. Had so much fun watching the game today, packing tonight and headed to DC for Sat game!!!
Go Braves
MK

DC Brave

March 31st, 2011
11:28 pm

Thanks DOB. The quotes are my favorite part of the after action coverage…post game TV or print. And they are always so well-framed….well done!

doc

March 31st, 2011
11:34 pm

dob the quotes are awesome, it makes me feel right there beside you hearing it first hand. you and MC over on the hawks blog are true pros bringing it every day from the horses mouths. many thanks.

great to see the freddi era start right.

gotigers72

March 31st, 2011
11:40 pm

The strike three pitch from Kimbrel that Morse swung at and missed was absolutely unhittable. And the curve he threw to Ankiel for strike three was totally unexpected by the Rickster. Good call by McCann.

Him Tudson

March 31st, 2011
11:51 pm

I second the awesomeness of these quotes.

big o

April 1st, 2011
12:13 am

I hate this computer Im typing and it just disappears and I cant find it anywhere. But I think we have a contender yall !!! I know it’s only one game but I liked what I saw. Uggla is a slow starter but he will hit. Freeman will get a lot of two out RBI opportunities. Our lineup looks pretty deep. The key will be Nate. Let’s give him a chance yall. Alex is going to have a big year I can see it. The pitching was awesome that was a pretty good lineup the Nats put out there. It’s just retarded to me that it’s no game on Fri. Whats up with that ? We have to wait til Sat. Jeese !!! Go Braves !!!!

Runnin

April 1st, 2011
1:06 am

It’s great to get so many quotes from so many players. The Braves seem like they have more talkers than most teams.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

chop for chip

April 1st, 2011
8:53 am

Dennis Reynolds- you’re right about uggla. he needs a bigger jersey. geeeeeeez. that farmers tan was a little ridiculous too. haha

Corky Miller's Beer Gut

April 1st, 2011
10:25 am

DOB the quotes are awesome i love reading them thanks.

razorblade

April 1st, 2011
10:43 am

Great game guys!! Stay healthy!! We will have a Great year!! Go Braves!!

Brava

April 1st, 2011
10:49 am

Skank Bernards

Brava,Nolie,Justice,& Flange are all the same idiot that blogs under 5,000 made up names.

Aw, what’s the matter, Skanky, are you jealous because DOB didn’t thank you for being a total jerk?

kristy

April 1st, 2011
11:14 am

great game yesterday i loved the pitching ahd heyward hr w2g and bmac did a great play gettin a out on second throwing from homeplate great games guys

DCBrave

April 1st, 2011
11:29 am

Really enjoyed these post game quotes. Thanks DOB.

bailer

April 1st, 2011
11:41 am

you half ars guys that want to worry about someones grammer or spelling take your little dimmlet arses some where else and leave the real fans alone…….

65 Mudlots

April 1st, 2011
12:11 pm

big o says: “It’s just retarded to me that it’s no game on Fri. Whats up with that ? We have to wait til Sat.”

I understand the schedule makers leave that second day open in case of rain outs on opening day. So they can get in their celebrations and all.

DOB: These comments from the players are the best! Keep up the good work, and yes, look into a voice to type transcribe app to make it easier on you. And spell check ;-)

And guys, lay off McLouth and give him a chance: Last year’s best Braves hitter Prado also went 0-fer yesterday, as well as new slugger Uggla and Alex and Freddie.

All in all, what a great opening day game. I expect big things for los Bravos in ‘eleven!

Mark's for the Braves

April 1st, 2011
1:15 pm

Loved the quotes, DOB and loved the game and the outcome more.

I like the way Fredi used the pen and how each one did his job. Timely 2 out hitting and good defense and excellent starting and relief pitching equals winning baseball.

I believe this team will go far into October.

Kyle

April 1st, 2011
1:34 pm

Great stuff DOB

Bobby's chaffeur

April 1st, 2011
1:37 pm

good grief…. It’s a game just enjoy it, watch them play, relax have a coke and a hot dog… spend some time with your friends (ok… a beer or two) pizza whatever. we put a good product on the field. Win or lose they are still the home town Braves. Best to them this year. I heard it from Mc Clouth, He said he would earn his money this year. that makes me happy

Chuck M.

April 1st, 2011
3:51 pm

It seemed like DLowe was digging that cold weather.I know he sweats alot in the middle of the summer,but what ever it was he was dealing.

tom

April 1st, 2011
11:39 pm

maybe the braves can get it through there thick skulls that the nats are no longer the Montreal expos. The expos were a thorn in the braves side in the past, but they are now gone,

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