On Jurrjens’ performance
“A hundred pitches, you’d like for him to go a little [deeper] than he did. He settled down at one point in the game and pitched pretty decent. But 102 pitches in 4-1/3 innings, after we came back and scored to tie the game – it probably wasn’t his best outing. But it was the first one. So five days from now he’ll get the ball and hopefully improve on that.”
On his velocity, did it improve as game went on? Because it was 86-88 early.
“I think that’s pretty much where he stayed. I think maybe a couple of pitches he might have touched 90, but basically he pitched around 86-88 mph.”
Is that OK from him, what you expect from him?
“Well, we saw in spring training a couple of games, one of those last games I think he was up to 91. So maybe it’s just [because it's] the first time out.”
Anything to idea maybe it was a little colder than what he’s been pitching in, affected velocity?
“I’m not sure. Maybe the first time out and we’ve been pitching in pretty hot weather down there. I don’t know. I couldn’t answer that question.”
What about the offense? You got a two-run homer there, but…
“We just can’t string anything together, it seems like. We get a couple of hits here, we get a double play ball. Jason hits a triple [after double play] that would have scored a run. They’ll come. The at-bats are getting good. We had first and second there in the ninth inning against the closer. We just need to keep the line moving a little bit.”
On Bourn not scoring first inning, could have made difference if he did
“I don’t know what the percentage is, but the team that scores first usually wins the game. I thought he did a nice job in the first inning. Gets a leadoff double and we get him over to third base, and Thole and Dickey did a helluva job getting Bourny out at the plate. I think Bourny just hesitated a little bit, just a tad, from watching it live. I haven’t seen the video on it. But you can’t fault him for that, you’ve got to try to score a run there. And those two guys made a nice play and we don’t get anything out of that.”
On Francisco hitting a couple of balls hard, lined out to center with runners on, and to first
“Yeah, he had a couple of good at-bats and also made a couple of nice plays defensively.”
On Livan Hernandez’s Braves debut as reliever
“That’s what we’re going to ask him to do right there, get us those middle innings, maybe even earlier innings. And he did a nice job with runners at second and third, after they get the wild pitch, with Davis at the plate he threw him a couple of slow, back-door breaking balls. He’s a guy who’s a veteran guy. He’s not going to crumble in those situations. He knows exactly what he wants to do and he does it, and he’s got great command. So you feel good when he’s out there to keep the score right there. Which he did.”
*** JAIR JURRJENS
On baseballs being slick in chilly conditions
“I wasn’t feeling the ball like I wanted to. I was trying to blow [on his fingers] and rub the ball as much as I could. But the ball was a little too slick in the beginning. You just need to make an adjustment, deal with what’s going on and make the best of it.”
Seemed like you started to look more comfortable and make some better pitches
“My body started feeling used to the cold and I felt like the ball was coming out a little bit smoother. On the fastball I had no problem. On the breaking ball it was tough, I had a problem even commanding it to throw it for a strike. It makes it difficult if you can not throw your secondary pitches for a strike.”
On the two home-run pitches
“Maybe a couple of inches and up on the plate. These are big league hitters. If you miss on the plate, you’re going to get hit. And I missed twice and got hit.”
Was the main problem with the secondary pitches? Could you keep hitters off-balance at all?
“No, my change-up was good sometimes and then I’d lose the feeling. My slider was awful till the last couple of innings when I threw a couple for strikes.”
“I’m not really happy with my performance and [not] helping the bullpen out. I made pitches when I needed to make pitches to keep the team in the game. That was the only thing I could do there, try to keep the game as close as possible and give our team a chance to come back.”
On the close calls on two-strike pitch that Wright took for a ball
“I was just looking at it [on video]. I think the first pitch was a strike and he didn’t call it, and the second pitch was borderline and he didn’t call it. When you fall behind to a hitter like David Wright, it going to be difficult to get a hitter like that out in a fastball count.
“But I just didn’t make my pitches. I can not blame the umpire. Even if he missed a pitch I’ve still got to go out there and try to make a quality pitch to get him out.”
“I was trying to do too much today, trying to make every pitch too perfect and not pitch to contact.”
*** LIVAN HERNANDEZ
Do you remember your last relief appearance? (only other one in regular season before today)
“96. September something.”
On relieving instead of starting
“I feel good. I warmed up fast. You’ve got to warm up and stretch and be ready if something happens. I like it.”
Just something you have to get used to?
“Relieving, to me it’s more difficult. I stretched more in the bullpen. Today I do it and it worked, I warmed up in only about 20 pitches.”
You use all the pitches relieving that you throw as a starter?
“Yeah, I use every pitches. I threw a cutter, fastballs to both sides, breaking balls….”
Rough way to start the season
“You’d like to win as many games as you can. Got to give them credit for the way they swung the bats and the way they threw the ball. They were really efficient. At the same time, a big hit here or a bit hit there for us would have been awesome. We had some hard-hit balls today in those situations, so I mean, we put ourselves in a situation to win the game.”
On Braves doing what hitting coach Greg Walker has urged – be aggressive but also take walks when there
“Right now I feel like we’re doing fine as far as what we talk about with Walk: Be aggressive up there. Get pitches up to hit in the zone, don’t be passive, don’t be afraid to fail when you’re at the plate.
“No one is by no means panicking or worried about are we on track to do what-have-you. We’re going up to the plate trying to put a good at-bat, get a good pitch to hit, and the first two games it hasn’t happened.”
“We wanted to score more runs today than we did, but at least we got more hits than we did the other day and people put some good at-bats up there and drew some walks and saw more pitches. So hopefully we can take that into tomorrow against Niese.”
On team at least drawing some walks and hitting some balls hard
“Yeah, they’re just not falling in. We had a couple of opportunities – I hit into that double play to kill a rally. It’s how they fell today. You can’t really stress out. It’s two games. We’ve just got to go out there and try to salvage the series tomorrow.”
Good to get some runs on the board, snap that scoreless streak?
“It is. Go from there. Everybody felt like, here we go, let’s keep it rolling here. Unfortunately it didn’t happen today, but you’ve got to give R.A. Dickey credit. A knuckleball is not the easiest pitch to hit.”