On Prado’s performance
“He did it all. He played nice defense, got a big knock. This is a hell of a game we played today, a 2-1 game. JJ gave us everything he had, and it was a good ballgame, good old-fashioned pitching, gave us an opportunity to save our bullpen a little bit by him going eight innings.
“Quick turnaround tomorrow and we’ve got the Padres. We [need to] keep going winning series. We’ve won two now in a row after losing two, Anaheim and Arizona, so let’s continue the trend.”
On if he had a good view of play at plate:
“No. I couldn’t tell. Different angle.”
On Schafer’s walk before Prado homer
“Yeah, you know what? He’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do. He covers [a lot of ground] – he may not even need a right fielder, the way he’s coming over to get some balls [in the vicinity of] Hinske. He’s doing everything, getting on base, getting some knocks, good for him. Prado, that’s his spot really, hitting second and he’s comfortable doing that.
“Gonzo made another hell of a play. It’s become so routine that we don’t even talk about it anymore with Gonzo. JJ was outstanding; he really was.”
On Jurrjens recovering after the early homer
“He settles down. And we talked about him going back out there in the ninth; we really did. We had a good discussion about it, and we chose not to. We thought he did the best he could and we didn’t want him facing those left-handers again.”
What felt better, the homer or your throw to the plate
“I think the throw. It would be a tie game [if he scores], and something that crossed my mind – I don’t want to play extra innings again. Nah, I just caught the ball and threw it as well as I could. There were a lot of people around. I couldn’t see Rossy and I was like, OK, I’m just going to throw the ball to home plate. I’m glad that we got the out. That was huge.”
You becoming more and more comfortable out there in left field?
“I prepared myself for this. In spring training I got a lot of help from the coaches and Nate and all my teammates. That made everything easier. And I just try to do everything [while fielding] in batting practice to have a plan, to make everything in the game easier.”
On Braves not scoring many runs lately
“That happens. The most important thing is that our pitching keep doing what they’ve been doing all year. I’m so, so sure that all my teammates are going to turn it around and start hitting the ball, because I have a lot of confidence in my teammates. This is going to change. We want our pitching staff to keep doing what they’re doing.”
On how it looked like JJ might lose a 1-0 game before Prado hit the homer
“Oh my gosh. Well, something is going to happen. Every single guy in our lineup can change the game. We always battle, and that’s what I love about this team. I’m glad I got a fastball and hit it out of the park, and J.J. got the win.”
On Jurrjens, and if he looks even better than in 2009
“He’s always been good. Sometimes injuries and a lot of things… He’s a tough guy. If he feels good, he’s got great command, and he’s real smart. His intensity every single day he pitches, it makes everybody go. And all the starters, they way they focus, they make us want to do something for them.”
On his double-play grounder earlier in the game
“It’s been a weird year for me. There’s some days that I feel good at home plate, and the next day I don’t have a clue. But I’ve got to get going, man. I’ve been working hard, and I’ve got great support from my teammates. I’m always positive. I knew that I hit that ground ball hard, and I’ve been hitting a lot of ground balls hard into double plays. I never give up. I always expect something positive in a game, either defensively or offensvively.”
The ninth-inning mound chat with David Ross seemed to work
“Yeah, Rossy came out and said, ‘Hey, you’re the man. You’re going to get the job done.’ And it happened. We got the win, and it was a big win. We really needed that today, with Philly and the Marlins losing.”
Did you think about the fact that it was Ramon Hernandez up at the end, the guy who homered off you Friday?
“It was in the back of my mind. I wasn’t going to let it affect how I pitched him, but it was definitely a little more satisfying to get the last out like that.”
On coming right back after giving up the Bruce homer early
“I hung a pitch, a changeup. He’s really hot, one of the hottest hitters in the major leagues right now. He had really good ABs the whole game. He was really a tough out today. Then after that, I just tried to calm down, get ahead [in counts], be more aggressive.”
“My sinker wasn’t sinking a lot today; I gave up a lot of fly balls. I think Rolen got a couple that I thought were going to be home runs, too. But he hit it to the longest part of the field.
“My four-seamer was better, the best it’s been all season so far. That helped me a lot.”
On Prado’s performance
“Oh, he won the game. Big two-run home run and throw the guy out at home. He’s the one that won the game for us.”
On being one of four pitchers in history who’ve allowed two earned runs or fewer in six or more innings in each of first nine starts
[laughs initially at the obscure state]. “It’s an honor. It’s not easy to be a starting pitcher in this league. I knew the bullpen needed a rest and I just wanted to go out and try to make sure I kept my pitch count down and get deeper in the game, to save some arms. Tomorrow we have an early game, and we need those guys to be fresh for the second half.”
On Braves coming back some in games recently
“When you keep your team in the game, you always have a chance to get a ‘W’. My job is to keep it close and give our offense a chance to come back.”