“He’s human. We’ve come to expect perfection a little bit. Today it just didn’t happen. Needless to say, it’s tough to protect a one-run lead, to try to get six outs with a one-run lead. They got some stuff going that inning — they didn’t hit the ball very hard – and they got some runs.
“We weren’t able to add on. That happens sometimes, when you let a team keep hanging around. You’ve got to tip your hat to their pitchers. Two hits and one run. It’s hard to protect that kind of lead, no matter who you’ve got down there, Jonny or Kimbrel or any of those guys.”
“We’re going to get on that plane and feel bad about ourselves, that we let this one go and lost two out of three to San Diego. And not really appreciate Hudson’s performance today. Six shutout innings. He was outstanding. He’s got it rolling pretty good. Just couldn’t get the win for him.”
If Jonny makes the throw to first a little faster, maybe it’s a whole different outcome?
“Yeah, and then the ball up the middle [that Venters tried to field]. I don’t know if that ball goes through or if Gonzo makes a play on it. It’s just one of those things. I thought we were going to get out of there when Venable bunted a fly ball back to him. Just didn’t happen.”
On the offense, almost nothing in first and last games around the outburst in middle game
“Give credit to Buddy Black’s pitching staff over there. You can’t hit every day. It seemed like after yesterday we were scoring some runs, then came in today and Luebke was outstanding. I don’t even know what his line was, but I bet he struck out six or seven. And they held us.”
“I wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes … I waited too long to throw that ball that Maybin hit. … Ball off my glove… I just didn’t get it done.
“I felt fine. I felt good. I just didn’t make any pitches, and blew the game for my team. Try to forget about it and move on to tomorrow.”
Did you try to take your time on the throw, when Maybin beat it out?
“Once I got it in my hand, I didn’t have it good, so I kind of had to re-grip it. He runs really well, so it just took too long. He beat it out.
“And then I don’t know if I don’t touch that ball [Bartlett single he tried to field] if Gonzo gets to it or not. Just a reaction thing. I’ve got to make that play. After that it kind of unraveled on me. Left a pitch up to Hudson, he hit it up the middle. Just left some pitches over the plate, wasn’t throwing the ball where I wanted to today.”
Biggest regret of the inning?
“Leadoff walk. One-nothing lead, 1-nothing game, you don’t want to come in and walk the leadoff guy. But I had a chance to get out of it. I just couldn’t make the play. Just didn’t get the job done.”
This game was a lot different than your last (eight scoreless innings, two hits vs. Toronto), but still no runs allowed
“Yeah, it was a little different that my last game, but I still felt pretty good out there. I think the last two outings are definitely something to build from, and get some momentum going. They had me in some jams and put some pretty good at-bats on me, but I was able to make some pitches when I needed to, and got some nice plays from some guys out t here to get out of some jams.”
Did you feel confident even when you got in some jams?
“Yeah, because with two outs I knew I was one pitch away from getting out of the inning. I felt like I had pretty good command of my stuff, working both sides of the plate. I felt like David [Ross] had a pretty good gameplan, both of us, it was just a matter of making pretty good pitches and trying to stay out of the center of the plate.”
Have you guys come to be as spoiled by Venters as everybody who watches him?
“Everybody’s human. Things are going to happen every now and then. Even though today the job didn’t get done, that one ball hit in his glove and would have been the third out of the inning, and we’re out of there with nobody hurt. It just didn’t happen. That bobble play right there…. You’ve got to give those guys credit. They put some good at-bats on him, put some pressure on the defense with the bunts, and made him try to make pitches. It just didn’t happen today.”
“He was nasty. First inning, he hit every spot. All those pitches could have gone either way, but they’re perfect pitches. He came in and pretty much shut us down. Myself, I didn’t even feel like I had good swings off of him. He hit spots, kept people off balance. I mean, he did a fabulous job.”
“He’d work a breaking ball every once in a while, but mostly just fastball-slider.”
“Look at his numbers. He’s pitched unbelievable all year. Ninety-nine out of 100 times, he’s going to succeed in that situation. You’d take him anytime there. Everybody’s going to have a hiccup here and there. He’s been outstanding all year, though.”
On getting two hits today and still being in position to win
“We didn’t play very well. Obviously we didn’t have a bunch of hits. It looked like we were going to steal one and get out of here, but that’s the game. Funny how it works sometime.”
PADRES’ ORLANDO HUDSON
“I’m pretty sure he should make the All-Star team. He’s definitely an All-Star type eighth-inning guy. He’s got great stuff, man. He’s definitely one of the toughest guys that we face.”