On his five-run third inning (two walks, two hits, two HBPs)
“I didn’t make very good pitches to set that inning up. I was struggling obviously with my command. Actually the best pitches I made were the ones that scored the runs. I made a pretty good pitch on Albert and he looped it in there. Then threw a sinker in on Molina and he inside-outed it to right field.
“I just didn’t make good pitches and they had good at-bats, and made me pay for it.”
How tough to have it all hinge on the one poor inning?
“Well, I made my bed. I set ‘em up. If Albert hits that ball a little better it’s a zero in that inning and you never know what could have happened. But he looped it in, score a run. The bases-loaded walk really hurt, and obviously the bases-loaded, bases-clearing double was the backbreaker. Then it was try to have some damage control, work later into the game and save the bullpen. Obviously 5-nothing early in the game, you don’t want to kill your bullpen after that.”
“They had a good approach and I wasn’t very sharp, either. It didn’t make for a good day for me.”
On the wild-card lead being cut to 4-1/2 games
“Obviously we’re still in a good spot even though we haven’t played very well this past week. We just need to get home, get our feet under us a little bit, take a deep breath and understand they’re chasing us, we’re not chasing them. Just play our best ball, try to limit our mistakes and get on a little better roll toward the end of the year.”
Tough to get home, regroup and forget this trip?
“Man, we better forget it, because it was brutal. We did nothing right. We didn’t pitch, we didn’t hit … I guess we played OK defense. But when this team’s playing well, we throw strikes, we get outs, we get runners in from third with less than two outs. And when we don’t, it’s pretty ugly.”
“And we’ve gotten WILD all of a sudden. We’re walking guys, we’re hitting guys – that’s a recipe for disaster when the offense is struggling to score three or four runs a game.”
On the five-run inning early, huge deficit for this offense at this point of season
“You can’t give up five-run innings at any time of the year. You’ve got to limit the damage. Huddy, for whatever reason, just lost command of the strike zone that one inning. To be honest with you, he was kind of all over the plate, fighting to find location the whole game. It really seemed to snowball on him there in the third.”
On not taking advantage of scoring opportunities in this series
“That’s what I’m saying. We had first and third, one out. Another time, I want to say we had first and third, nobody out and bases loaded, nobody out against Jackson the first night and I think he struck out the side. It’s frustrating, because you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities. And as a hitter, you’ve got to want to be in those situations. I mean, those are the easy RBI opportunities. Easy in that, a guy on third with less than two out, hit a ground ball up the middle. Or a fly ball to the outfield. I mean, I know it sounds easier than it is, but that’s what good offenses do. And when we’re struggling, we don’t do that.”
“Tough trip. It didn’t start off good in Philly. We got those two wins in New York, which was huge. But this team [St. Louis] is playing well, give them credit. The middle of their order is tough. Guys get on at the top of their lineup and then you’ve got those big three ready to take their hacks. They played well. They had a good approach, staying inside the ball. It didn’t seem like they were going to let that sinker beat them today. They were staying inside the ball and getting hits the other way and up the middle. They had a good team approach, and Westbrook pitched well. He gave them six innings, and their bullpen was good the whole series.”
“We’ve just got to try to put it behind us. We’re still up 4/12 with however many we have to play. So we’ve just got to put it behind us, go home and try to win ballgames.”
Huddy said it was important to remember they’re chasing you, not other way around
“Yeah, just because you got swept here you can’t be passive. You have to still play your game.”
Good position still?
“We are. We’re 4-1/2 games up. I think if you’d have said that at the start of the season, that with 16 games left in the regular season you’re 4-1/2 up, you’d take it, right? So we’ve just got to find a way to get over this hump. It’s a bit of a rough patch for us right now. Just keep grinding. We’ve got a bunch of veteran guys in here, we’ll be ready to play tomorrow.
On his catch to rob Holliday of a home run
“I haven’t played the outfield for a while. I actually did it right – I looked back to see where the wall was, then I looked back to see the ball, jumped, and my glove was over the wall. I mean, that’s the first time I’ve ever robbed a home run, for sure.”
You sound surprised?
“Absolutely surprised. No doubt.”
On his leap and catch
“I’m a big athlete. You can’t teach it.” [smiling]
On Hudson’s five-run third inning
“He hit two guys and walked two. At the end he settled down, and we showed signs of getting some runs there, but they got out of those innings. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
On the 2-6 trip
“Pretty tough road trip, but I think if you look back, I’m pretty sure there was another road trip this season where we had a tough one and were able to bounce back. The worst thing that could happen happened. We lost three in a row. We’ve still got a 4-1/2 game lead, now we’ll go home and sleep in our beds a little bit and get everything clicking again.”
On how quickly things came apart on Hudson
“I think in two of the games [against St. Louis], all of a sudden they put up a big number. The ninth inning of the other night’s game, and today’s game. Just one of those things. We’ve just got to go home and regroup and go get ‘em tomorrow.”
On his statement before the game that the Braves weren’t playing bad baseball
“We’re not. We’re not playing bad baseball. One inning here and one inning there throughout the course of these last six games — not counting the doubleheader in New York — and we got swept. You don’t want to lose. You don’t want to get swept. But let’s just go home and starting winning series.”
How different does it feel now from a week ago when left Atlanta?
“I don’t know that it feels any different. Obviously you don’t want to lose series and have a bad road trip. It feels like we’re close offensively. Danny hit a ball there that almost goes out. We had a lot of those ‘almosts’ offensively. So again, let’s go home, lick our wounds a little bit and go get ‘em.”
Can a team get complacent or comfortable (with lead like Braves had)?
“Not this group of guys. I don’t believe that. I think it’s just a matter of, eight games in seven days, and teams just go through a bad road trip. The road trip we had that started in Arizona and Anaheim wasn’t very good, and we were able to bounce back and get on a roll and get into the position that we’re in now.” [The Braves lost four of five games at Arizona and Anaheim to begin a seven-game trip May 18-25 that concluded with two wins at Pittsburgh.]
“It’s a positive [position]. We’ve got to go home now and play the Marlins, who I think are playing good baseball now. Go get ‘em tomorrow.”
Was that the message to the team, have you talked to them?
“I talked to guys individually, told them, hey, we’re playing good baseball, it’s just a matter of getting everything clicking at the same time.”