“Derek Lowe was outstanding. I know he hasn’t gotten a win in a long time, but he did a terrific job. And I thought Rossy did a helluva job getting him through. Then we just got some big knocks when we needed to.”
“We were second in the league [hitting with runners in scoring position]; we talked about that before we started the series. Maybe the guys read the paper.”
Encouraged by what you saw the past couple of days?
“Yeah, and Bedard [Monday starter] ain’t chopped liver, either. We were able to score some runs. The thing I liked, all three games were different. We came from behind, and today we got ahead and kept tacking on some runs.”
On 10 singles off Hernandez
“I wish I could tell you that we sat here and that was an approach. I think it just happened. I think we got some pitches maybe up over the plate a little bit, and we found some holes.”
On Freeman hitting well against the likes of Halladay and Hernandez, former Cy Young Award winners
“It may be just a coincidence, but yeah, he bears down against those guys. It’s just a young player who’s going to have good weeks, then have a couple of days that are not so good. But his confidence is always good.”
Does Venters just seem a little fatigued?
“I think so. Roger and I have spoken about that already today. It maybe something that, without giving any secrets out, we may give him a couple of days. It’s something that we’ve got to manage it a little bit. And we’ve spoken about that. I hate to say anything about it because everybody reads the paper and you don’t want to give any secrets away to [the opponent in] the next series that’s coming up. But yeah, it’s something we’ve spoken about.”
“Not concerned about it, but we may have to give him a couple of days, just to recharge. He’s got, what, 46 appearances counting today? We may have to back off a little bit. He’s too valuable for us and we want him for the long haul.”
Had he already warmed up today, is that why you went ahead and used him in 5-1 game?
“What was it, 5-1? A 5-1 game and you had those left-handers coming up. We had Linebrink going just in case we popped another one [in the top of the eighth], and give Linebrink an inning. We didn’t and it was a 5-1 game, so go ahead and run Jonny out there.”
But you’re not saying he’s hurt?
“No, no. He’s fine. But we don’t want him to get to that point. So we’re going to have to manage that a little bit better, for our part.”
On Schafer taking catches in gaps in front of other OFs
“That’s when you run into trouble having three center fielders out there. You get guys that cover a lot of ground, and that’s something we need to talk to those guys a little more about, when you’ve got McLouth, and Schafer and Heyward. But it’s a nice problem to have, when you’ve got three guys out there that can cover a lot of ground.”
“Obviously you would’ve liked to have had a cleaner fifth inning after we scored. Brendan Ryan was probably the biggest at-bat of the game, falling behind him 3-0; you walk him they’ve got bases loaded…
“But all in all, Freddie had a tremendous game, we had a lot of big hits to keep momentum on our side, and ended a pretty good road trip.”
Did you feel this game was especially important, finish off a sweep and winning trip, etc?
“It’s not like during this [winless strea] at any time you go out there thinking negative thoughts. You think you’re going to win every single start. I think early on, looking at the way he [Hernandez] w as pitching, it looked like it was going to be one of those games where you wanted to not let it get out of hand. Early innings were important for me to keep it close, then we were able to score five runs off of him, enjoy and off day tomorrow, finish the first half strong.”
How frustrating was this stretch?
“Every game was a different type of frustrating. There were plenty of games throughout this time where I could easily have pitched better and won. I mean, let’s be honest. But, I mean, you can definitely enjoy the off day better, finally getting a win. Clearly it had been a long, long time, and everybody else had been pitching fantastic. So it’s good to at least get one on the board.”
“My sinker’s been up in the zone. I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired or what, but I feel fine. I’ve been missing my spots and it’s been up in the zone. Falling behind [in counts] , and it’s just tough to .. it’s just been tough, you know?
What was homer on?
“Sinker. I had to throw a strike right there, didn’t want to walk the guy. I just wanted to throw a strikes and it went right over the plate, kind of right into his swing. He put a good swing on it.”
Do you feel like you don’t get as much bite or movement on some sinkers when you’re tired?
“I think it’s just the location. If it’s up, it doesn’t sink as much. My stuff hasn’t been real good on this trip. I think it’s just because my sinker’s been up. If it was down, I think it’d still have the sink, the same action. But I’ve been missing up, falling behind guys, and you can’t get anybody out like that.”
But it’s more tired, not sore?
“I feel fine. Just not making pitches, and they’re making me pay for it. That’s all.”
Do you think a couple of days off could help you return to form?
“I just think I need to make pitches. I don’t know if a couple of days off would help. It’s just one of those things, sometimes you go out there and can’t put a ball where you want to. You can’t do that up here [in the majors]. Even if you fall behind, you’ve got to make a quality pitch. I’m just not doing that.”
After giving up some cheap ground ball hits at San Diego, different here in Seattle?
“Here they were hitting balls hard. A lot of balls in the air, that tells me my sinker’s not real good, up or whatever.
“In San Diego I could have got out of that making good plays. Here, I haven’t been missing many barrels.”
“I was just trying to be short and quick, just trying to hit the ball to left field, because he had a really good two-seamer, good sink. If you try to pull that ball, you’re just going to roll over every time. So I was just trying to go up the middle, go the opposite way, and it worked out today.”
How does it feel after sweeping them, make long flight and off day more enjoyable?
“I mean, when you face Bedard, Pineda and him, you never thought you’d sweep a series against those guys. But we battled against those pitchers, came out on top, and our pitchers pitched great.”
On hitting well against former Cy Young Award winners like Halladay, Hamels and Hernandez?
“I don’t know if my concenrtration level goes up or what, but it’s fun. It’s a challenge for me. That’s what you look for.”
“I’m gonna be sleeping on that flight; I’ve got a little cold. Then we’ve got the Orioles coming in, so we’ve got to go out and battle them, too.”
On Lowe getting win
“He’s had some tough matchups, and we haven’t been scoring a lot of runs. For us to be able to give him five today, and for him to pitch six innings and give up one run, it’s great to see. We battled for him, and he battled for us, and we got a win for him.
“You never think you’re going to be able to score five runs off Hernandez. We put some things together and got some hits with runners in scoring position, the clutch hit by Brooksy, the wild pitch and two RBIs….”
On Lowe’s performance
“What really threw him off, I thought, was that we had a really long inning [in top of fifth]. He sat and it really kind of threw him off his rhythm. He’s a rhythm pitcher and he needs to stay in the flow of the game. Sitting on the bench that long, I thought it got him out of his rhythm.”
“And they were cheap hits. The one up the middle by Gutierrez was a good hit, but a couple of seeing-eye singles through the right side. Other than that, he pitched a good game. His stuff was really good today. I think he’s had good stuff and just a run of some bad luck. It was nice that we scored some runs for him. I know he’s happy.
“As a person, he puts so much pressure on himself. He wants to win so bad. He’s one of those guys, he makes a lot of money, but he don’t care about the money. He wants to win. He wants to do well for himself and his teammates, and that’s why I’m especially happy for him.”
On sweeping Mariners with those three starters they ran out there
“Really nice. We were just talking about that. We were 4-2 on this road trip, and if you look back, we didn’t hit in San Diego and almost snuck away with winning that series. To come in here and sweep this series – they’ve got a really good team. We faced very good pitchers and did a great job, and our pitchers, as always, carried us. But we did a good job of situational hitting. I thought we did a great job.”