On his third-inning homer being the last run
“I really didn’t [think that would be enough]. I was hoping we were going to put more runs up, but it ended up being enough for Tommy and Jonny and Craig. They picked us up tonight.”
On the pitching carrying load tonight
“The pitching’s been great. They’ve been battling. They’ve faced some tough lineups. Houston, the Mets, everybody. These guys, they’re grinding out at-bats. It’s not a walk in the park for anybody, and the pitchers responded. They’ve been grinding right along with them.
“Tommy did a great job tonight. Three runs ended up being enough for him.”
On Braves pitchers retiring last 19 batters in order
“That’s pretty impressive. The first two innings even, he made a pretty good pitch on Kubel, who just got enough of it to get it out of the ballpark. He shut them down after that.”
On his second homer of the season, both in past four days
“It was just a matter of time before I could get the first one, then hopefully they start rolling in after that. It was big. I’ve just been battling, working every day, trying to make sure I can get my timing and be as comfortable as I can. It’s been going OK.”
On the team’s recent balanced offense
“Our [individual] numbers aren’t astronomical, but that just means everybody’s been pitching in. J-Hey’s had a great last nine games. Freddie’s been hot the last four or five. Prado’s really swinging it well. Michael Bourn has been unbelievable.
“You take away that first series against the Mets, and we’ve got some pretty good numbers, probably.”
On Dbacks’ lefty Saunders
“He didn’t make many mistakes at all. His fastball was explosive and his off-speed was working for him. We just ended up getting one more than they did.”
What did you hit out?
“There were a lot of runs early, then me and [Arizona starter] Joe [Saunders] shut it down, got comfortable and started making better pitches.”
How’d you feel after giving up some early runs?
“I felt good. The balls were a little dry, so once I got a little sweat going and got a little better grip on my pitches, I settled in a little better and starting making some more quality pitches.”
On being part of trio that retired last 19 Arizona batters in a row
“It felt good coming out of the game giving the ball to Jonny and Craig. You saw how good they were tonight, and they’re always that good. So it’s comfortable, from my standpoint and the team’s standpoint, to know they’re going to go out and get the job done.”
On having three consecutive quality starts by Braves pitchers in the series
“I think we had a good game plan coming in here. Everybody came up with good plans on how to attack hitters, and we’ve been doing a good job with going out there and executing that.”
What was working well for you, which pitches?
“The last couple of games now I’ve felt good with my breaking pitches, and the last two starts my fastball command has been a lot better.”
On the six straight strikeouts by Venters and Kimbrel
“Go back and look what they’ve done the last couple of years. That’s nothing new to anybody in here. When we have the lead going in the later part of the game, we feel that game’s won. And that’s a pretty cool feeling to have.”
Especially in a one-run game, not many of those this year
“Yeah, it was big because we’ve been scoring a bunch of runs and today we needed to rely on our pitching. Tommy stepped up in a huge way, Jonny came in and made all his pitches, then Craig came in and shut the door.
“It was a great team win. I can’t say enough about the good things Tommy did today.”
Was Hanson just missing a little in the first few innings?
“When you start the game off you’ve got to kind of see where the other team’s at. You don’t know exactly what their game plan is going to be. Early on they were hitting all his stuff, then he realized, you mix it up a little bit more, use his sinker a little bit more — we read what they did early and adjusted, and it turned out to be the right thing to do.”
On three consecutive quality starts
“Yeah, all three of those guys. Just keep building off each other, that’s what staffs do. I think Mike set the tone with the first game here, Beachy tried to one-up him, and then same thing tonight. Tommy wanted to follow suit. We’ve been winning, but I think when Mike took the hill two nights ago, he set a tone that he wanted all those guys to follow suit. And I think they all did.”
On winning four consecutive series, including first three games of this four-gamer
“We’ve got a good team. We’ve got a good team top to bottom. We feel really confident with the baseball we’re playing right now, and we just want to keep going and winning ballgames.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that – we punched out three in the eighth, they punched out three in the top of the ninth, then we finished the game with three [strikeouts in the ninth]. So it was a good pitching performance. Glad we’re still swinging the bats. Bourney got a couple of hits.”
“At the end of the year I think we’re going to be known for our pitching. That’s what has been the constant here in the Atlanta Braves organization. I think at the end of the year that’s what we’re going to be known for.”
Nice to win a close, more conventional game?
“No, not really. I like those seven-run leads. Better for the stomach that way. But those two guys at the end of the game were nails, and it was nice to see Tommy get us to those guys. That’s another quality start. Guys have been going deep in ballgames [lately].”
“Nineteen to end the game. That’s a good pitching performance by us.”
On winning the first three games of four-game series with Diamondbacks
“They’ve got a good club. They’re beat up right now, but you still get scared of Upton coming up and hitting the ball out of the park. Kubel there in the ninth. But it was nice to get a good pitching performance today.”
“I think he got better as the game went along, and McCann did a helluva job getting him through those first couple of tough innings and then settling him in.”