On team being 11-2 on his birthday
“That’s good. Everybody gets as jacked up as I do to play on my birthday; that’s cool.”
Why do you think the record’s so good on your birthday
“I really couldn’t tell you. Probably luck more than anything else, but I’m fortunate today. I really wanted us to win this ballgame and make a series out of it. They took it to us pretty good last night. It’s good that we bounced back and won this ballgame.”
“I’m just glad to have the opportunity to go out there and play baseball at the age of 40. It’s been a fun ride, and it’s a good way to have my last birthday in the big leagues go, to have it come out the right way.”
On Pastornicky’s big game
“You could tell the kid was pressing a little bit. He’s got a million swing thoughts going through his mind. I just told him tonight, ‘Hey, just play. Go hit. Play the game. Play the best way you know how.’ And man, he got some results. It was good to see. He got a couple of big base hits for us tonight.
“All a kid like that needs is a little confidence, and hopefully a night like tonight will kind of propel him to do that.”
On Minor bouncing back after giving up the first-inning bomb
“He made one mistake. They bled some balls in off of him to get that third run, but he made mistake, Rivera made him pay for it. Got us in a hole, but he didn’t cave on us. He kept us in the ballgame until the bats were finally able to get to Harang. Can’t say enough about the job he’s done from Day 1 of spring training. I mean, he’s been our most consistent pitcher.”
On Prado’s big hit
“Prado is the consummate professional. He’s going to stand up there and grind out at-bats. And that was no easy task right there. That guy has dominant stuff. He had a long at-bat, fouled off some tough pitches and finally got one. To be honest with you I thought he had hit it out. But it’s like Yellowstone Park once the sun goes down here.
“But ultimately, I’ve gotten a lot of cool presents today and whatnot, but that was the best right there, that knock.”
On bouncing back with three-hit game, reached base four times
“It was nice. I’ve put in a lot of hard work in the last couple of days, and it’s nice to go out there and see some of the work that I have been doing pay off.”
Feeling more comfortable?
“I do. I think it was one of those things where I kind of put myself into that slump. I don’t think it was really anything physical that I changed or did. I think it was just kind of pressing. I swung the bat well the first week, then started to try to do too much after that. Instead of just going out there and letting it happen.”
On Chipper telling him before the game to just play
“That’s the main part, just go out and do exactly that, not try to put so much stuff in my head.”
On capping his night by scoring winning run on Prado’s triple
“That was a great at-bat by Martin. It’s a good win for us, for sure.”
On the win
“Mike kept us in the game and Chipper came up big for us and hit the homer. After that we kept playing inning by inning, at-bat by at-bat, everybody had great at-bats. I’m just glad I got a big hit to help the team. It was a big game.”
On his big triple on seven-pitch at-bat
“I was looking for a pitch. I know they were working me outside, and I was trying to hit the ball the other way and react inside. Fortunately for me, he threw a fastball a little bit up, but I could put a good swing on it.”
On Pastornicky’s breakout game
“I was so glad. We talk every day. We know how he’s capable of doing a lot of things in this game. After this game, I think from now on he’s going to be a different guy.”
On Kemp going after Prado’s drive to the wall
“He can get to anything. I knew it was either going to be a great play or I was going to get a hit. He made a great effort.”
On Braves’ comeback and last at-bat wins
“We’ve been doing it the last couple of years. Someboday steps up. For some reason we’ve got that strong mentality. They battle. We all battle. That’s the important thing about this team, we feel like we can do this even in tough situations.”
On settling down after the first-inning Rivera homer
“That was going to be the biggest thing, because they’re such a good-hitting team. To give up two runs like that early on, I was kind of pissed off about it. Because against a good-hitting team like that, you’ve got to try to limit those.
“Ellis got on with the broken-bat changeup hit, and then I just threw a terrible slider to Rivera. He did what he was supposed to do with that.”
On Pastornicky’s big night
“That was big. A lot of guys overlook the 8-hole, to get to the pitcher or the pinch-hitter off the bench. That’s big for the 8-hole guy to do that.”
On Prado’s go-ahead triple
“That was a heck of an at-bat. Seven-pitch at-bat against their closer, and driving the ball all the way out there – in this ballpark at night, it’s well documented that the ball doesn’t travel real well here at night. One heck of an at-bat.
“Pastornicky had a tremendous day. Got on base four times, did a terrific job. Minor did a good job giving us six innings. I think he had 75, 77 pitches. You could run him back out there, but Medlen hadn’t pitched in six days, and O’Flaherty was rested. Why not take a chance there? Those guys did a terrific job.”
Chipper homering on his 40th birthday
“Maybe we can trick him again tomorrow and say it’s his birthday. He stands up on those occasions. Home run, and every at-bat he squared up the ball.
“It seems like every time we give him a couple of days to get that knee ready, he answers the call and gives us a good performance.”
“Young players, you’ve just got to let them relax a little bit. First month in the big leagues, sometimes it’s pretty overwhelming. So it was nice to see him come back, four times on base, three hits. Hopefuly that will carry him on and he’ll keep going.”