Heyward: Braves retain never-say-die attitude

SAN DIEGO – They led the majors with 25 wins in their final at-bat last season, and Jason Heyward said this year’s Braves have the same never-say-die attitude.

Heyward’s leadoff single in the 10th inning on Sunday night at San Francisco ignited a three-run inning in a 9-6 win, one that gave the Braves a series sweep. It was their first win of the season in their final at-bat.

The Braves rallied after blowing a three-run lead in the seventh inning and trailing by a run going into the eighth. Dan Uggla led off the eighth with a tying homer.

“That’s just this team,” said Heyward, whose three-run homer in the seventh provided a 5-2 lead. “It’s a credit to us as a whole, how we never give up on games. Just like last year. Somebody may punch us in the mouth and beat us, but if we still have an opportunity to win we’re going to hang in there.

“Same team, same attitude. With the same great mix of veterans and young guys that come in and understand this is a grind, that you’re going to have ups and downs in a season, but we don’t feel like we’re ever out of a game.”

They came back to win Sunday before an energized crowd of 42,295 at sold-out AT&T Park, against one of the toughest closers in baseball, Brian Wilson.

After consecutive singles by Heyward and Chipper Jones to start begin the 10th inning, Wilson walked Uggla to load the bases. Freddie Freeman struck out and Eric Hinske grounded into a force at home before Nate McLouth hit a tie-breaking, two-run single.

Brian McCann followed with another single to push the lead to 9-6, and the Braves were on their way, sweeping the team that beat them in last year’s division series.

“With that crowd, they come with it every game, so it’s easy to be in every pitch in that atmosphere,” Heyward said. “It’s exciting. You’ve got the energy flowing. We got to see it twice last year there, during the season and the playoffs.”

The first week of the 10-game road trip was eventful for Heyward, who followed up a hitless four-game series against the Dodgers with three consecutive multi-hit games against the Giants, including three hits on Sunday.

The right fielder has bounced back from a recent slump to hit .300 with an .877 on-base-plus slugging percentage and two homers in his past eight games before Monday night’s series opener at San Diego. Heyward ranked third in the National League with a .625 average (5-for-8) in late-and-close situations before Monday, and fifth in overall average after the sixth inning (.409).

Heyward was also 10th in the league in home-run frequency with one every 15.2 at-bats.  He and Uggla have two homers apiece in late-and-close situations, and the Braves lead the NL with seven in those situations.

24 comments Add your comment

tooslim73

April 25th, 2011
10:17 pm

woodie

April 25th, 2011
10:20 pm

hipdawg

April 25th, 2011
10:20 pm

He is sooo young!!!AMAZING player folks….and ugs can hurt a ball too.

katherine

April 25th, 2011
10:22 pm

lets hope they get out of the first inning without giving up a run

Braves Fan Since "80

April 25th, 2011
10:23 pm

Get a lot of negative comments about Heyward, some players seem to draw fire while others get praised for batting 214….. Escobar is outperforming Gonzales in every category yet we hear no complaints about Gonzo….. yeah he plays everyday and makes outs and routine plays….. wish we had that ESCOBAR…. maybe we can get him back one day

katherine

April 25th, 2011
10:23 pm

Kreate

April 25th, 2011
10:29 pm

Escobar’s a douche. We don’t want him back.

Drew

April 25th, 2011
10:33 pm

Is Jason Howard in the top ten best players in the league?

Drew

April 25th, 2011
10:33 pm

Braves Fan Since "80

April 25th, 2011
10:38 pm

Kreate, speaking about a douche…..is that someone that argues with a fact? Or is that someone who imposes an opinion based on ?????

Dreadnought

April 25th, 2011
10:44 pm

No, kreate was just using common sense.

Braves Fan Since "80

April 25th, 2011
10:44 pm

As bad as the second inning looked we came out OK!

Braves Fan Since "80

April 25th, 2011
10:50 pm

Hey dread common sense……is that someone that argues with a fact? Or is that someone who imposes an opinion based on ????? Just what is common sense and Toronto has none and you do…. Your opinion is better than mine despite the stats and the braves record and defensive stats since the trade….. We are who we are no need to berate

Dreadnought

April 25th, 2011
11:20 pm

Well you know what they say opinions are like and we all have one of those too. So just enjoy the game and be sure to wash your yunel jersey after its over. Maybe there’s no complaining about Gonzo because he doesnt make boneheaded plays and pout like a 6 year old.

Braves Fan Since "80

April 25th, 2011
11:39 pm

Dread….. gtfu…. 214 ha ha ha that is worse than a boneheaded play…. you so stupid

Largo

April 26th, 2011
12:10 am

Fredi just put Linebrink into the game to get out the right hand hitter. Same old crap, the batter hit one off the wall and tied the game. Linebrink sucks.

What’s with Chipper, he never walks anymore. Starts swinging the bat as soon as he’s in the batters box.

Younger Than That Now

April 26th, 2011
12:52 am

Yeah and if Chipper was looking at pitches and “being patient” he would be criticized for looking at strikes and letting hittable pitches go by. I’ve learned that on this blog that the same people will gripe and complain about the same players regardless of what approach they take. I guess that the moral of this story is… you can please some of the people some of the time, but the people on this blog are gonna biotch regardless!!

People on this blog know a lot more about the game than the professionals playing, managing, coaching and running the Braves!!

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

Dorothy Davis

April 26th, 2011
12:31 pm

This is for “Braves Fan Since 80″. Escobar could not carry Gonzales’s cleats, let alone make the unreal plays he does. If he was in love with Escobar, I am so sorry. The Braves finally have a short stop that can win games for them, not just pout when things go wrong!

Mitchell

April 26th, 2011
2:23 pm

They led the majors with 25 wins in their final at-bat last season, and Jason Heyward said this year’s Braves have the same never-say-die attitude.

Yeah effing right. Give me a break.

This team needs to put up and shut up. Not either, or. Stop BSing yourselves. You’re not backing it up on the field.

I would so much rather spend a season watching a truly God awful, Seattle Mariners bad team than one that sweeps the Giants and then can’t beat the Padres.

Give me another nine game losing streak. It would be easier to take than losing three of four, then a sweep followed by a loss to a last place team preceeded by losing four of six to the Phillies and Marlins who by the way, are running away with it.

Franchise Fredi

April 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

Fla is 14-7…
Just sayin…

Speedy Gonzalez

April 26th, 2011
4:17 pm

We have no braggin rights, our bench stinks, Uggla is looking bad, our pen is overworked, & the bats are freezing up, hopefully with warmer weather we will heat up cause only the Mutts are keepin us out of the basement!!!!!

K.C. Frenchy

April 26th, 2011
4:40 pm

Hey Bravo fans, check my stats: 4 bombs, 18 rbi, .325 avg.+ cannon arm, I may be that RH bat you NOW need, oh well I ll just have a career year in KC I guess!!!!

Brave New World

April 26th, 2011
5:19 pm

K.C. Frenchy April 26th, 2011 4:40 pm Hey Bravo fans, check my stats: 4 bombs, 18 rbi, .325 avg.+ cannon arm, I may be that RH bat you NOW need, oh well I ll just have a career year in KC I guess!!!!

Only if the season is 25 games.

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