On McCann and Hanson
“I thought he did a terrific job handling Tommy today, and Tommy just hung in there for six innings, and we were able to get the lead and hold it. For him not to pitch as sharp as we’ve seen him, and get the W, was outstanding.”
Looked like Hanson settled in after rough couple of innings early
“I agree 100 percent. The first two, three innings he kind of fought himself a little. Then he kind of settled in. He might have thrown 20 pitches in the last two innings, where his pitch count was pretty high the first three or four innings.”
“He made a helluva catch. He’s swinging the bat, running the bases good, and that play at the plate was bang-bang. I haven’t seen the replay, but the people who did see it said it was difficult even with the replay. I tell you what, I was impressed with Ichiro’s throw to the plate. That was a very strong, accurate throw.”
On Schafer’s big hit
“Yeah, against a tough left-hander, gets one in there that extends that rally. Then Mac gets another hit there. It was good that we hung around. Youv’e got to give a lot of credit to Tommy, and then the eighth and the ninth inning, with Venters and Kimbrel, were very good.”
On the three-run seventh
“Both teams to this point, we haven’t really scored too many runs. And we were able to at least put a crooked number up that got us the lead, and we were able to hold it.”
On getting some hits with runners in scoring position
“We were hitting [about] .220 coming in here, but we were second in the league with runners in scoring position, and we did that. And you know what gets overlooked – Danny hit another home run.”
“[He does] everything. He’s unbelievable. The game today pretty much showed it. I got off to a slow start and he told me, ‘Stay right there, we’re going to win this game.’ And that’s exactly what happened. He got those hits. He got me through that game somehow; I honestly don’t know how.
“He got me through that game and came up huge for us. He’s unbelievable.”
You looked like you were rusty early, then settled back into the groove you were in before the DL stint
“I kind of have checkpoints throughout my windup – get to this point, separate your hands, get to this point — everything kind of feels normal when I’m locked in. And at first I really didn’t feel that way. I felt like I was trying to rush to home plate and really get going. Once I kind of settled down there – I wouldn’t say settled down; I had a bunch of baserunners – but I felt a lot more comfortable once I realized that and tried to slow down a little bit and get down in the zone.
“I really got hurt when I left those pitches up. So once I kind of felt a little bit more comfortable and got to all my checkpoint was when I felt comfortable and starting pitching down in the zone a little bit more.”
When did you feel that happening?
“During warmups before the third inning, I realized that everything was staying up and my arm didn’t have time to catch up to my body. So I think it was in warmups in-between the third inning, and then I just tried to stick with that the rest of the game. I felt like it worked pretty well. That’s been a key for me all year, just trying to stay down in the zone. Then if I do miss up in the zone, they’re so used to seeing it down that it kind of throws them off.”
On his shoulder
“It felt good. I didn’t feel anything [from the tendinitis]. Hopefully I come in tomorrow and it’ll feel the same way. But yeah, once I was out there I didn’t feel anything. I mean, my body, my arm, everything felt really good.”
On Hanson settling down after rough couple of innings
“Once he got the ball down, he was cruising. But they came out aggressive. They had a good gameplan early, and we countered after we figured out what they were trying to do. We made a lot of them work counts, instead of just going up there and hitting a first-pitch fastball. Sometimes you need to go away from your gameplan, make it different than what it was going in.”
On your hitters swinging at almost every first pitch in the sixth, then working three walks in the first four batters in three-run seventh:
“We were swinging early, figured out that wasn’t working, and so we took more later. We had a lot of good at-bats in that inning, and that was the game.”
Seems like everything is working for you individually
“Things are going good. I’m seeing the ball well, getting a good pitch to hit. I’m working counts and being patient. When I have those things going, I feel confident that I can get some hits.”
On Schafer’s RBI single to tie in seventh
“Huge hit. He battled. He swung at the first pitch, then hung in on the next one and flared one in there. That’s tough, staying in there on a tough lefty like that, with the game on the line.”
Were you surprised Adam Kennedy tried to steal second when Ichiro stole third in the seventh inning?
“I had a feeling that Ichiro was going to try to steal there, and we had the right play on throwing down to second. Looking at Kennedy, I knew he was going to go, just the way he was set up. So we had the right play on, and luckily I put the ball where it needed to be.”
On coming back after trailing 3-0 against a good pitcher
“That’s something we haven’t done a lot this year, is come back from a three-run deficit against a pitcher like that. We battled and came up with some big hits.”