On Beachy’s performance
“Beachy was outstanding. He really was. He matched Cole pitch for pitch and got one inning better, just didn’t get anything for it. He was very, very good. I thought our hitters did a terrific job with Cole. I think four base hits were off left-handed hitters, walked two left-handers. I think we had a good approach.
“We were all set up to win that ballgame and it kind of hurts. It wasn’t Jonny’s day. A couple balls got through the infield it seemed like all night, even off Beach a little bit – a couple balls off the end of the bat or going through that hole there. But it’s just one of those days, come out tomorrow get another pitching performance and keep going. I’m really pleased the way we swung the bats early in the game and even off of Qualls there in the eighth. It just wasn’t our night.”
On Pence’s seeing-eye hits
“If you guys remember, last year at the end of the year, the last game of the season, he threw one of those grenades out there to beat us. He’s one of those guys who sticks his nose in there with two strikes and battles and finds a way to hit balls where you can’t even defend. You can’t put people where he hits them. He’s got that quality where he just battles and battles and doesn’t give in.”
On the defense from Diaz and Pastornicky
“I thought we played a good baseball game. The only error that we had was on Prado and that ball snaked [shifted direction on the close-cropped grass] on him and on this field, when you’ve got to sell out to try to throw out a guy at home plate, that could happen. That ball in the outfield, we’ll see it a lot. When you come in charging hard, and that ball snakes on you it’ll go by. But that didn’t cost us anything. You don’t know if he’s going to throw the guy out at the plate or not. I thought it was a well-played ball game.”
On Venters’ weird inning
“It just wasn’t his day. A couple balls that just fall in and they capitalized. You’ve got to tip your cap to them. Strike three gets away for the game-winner. It’s going to be a tough series. I think every time we play these guys — every time we play within our division. We’ve got a lot of good baseball teams and there are going to be a lot of good, close games.”
On his two-run eighth inning, first runs charged to him this year
“I didn’t make pitches when I needed to. I made some decent pitches early in the count, then when I needed to, I didn’t. And they made me pay for it. That’s a good lineup. You just can’t do that against those guys.”
On getting out of some other jams this season after giving up hits or walks
“I haven’t had many clean innings this year and today I didn’t make pitches with guys on. They made me pay for it. There’s no excuse. Brandon pitched his butt off today and we were in the game here at [the eighth inning]. To let it get away like that is unacceptable.”
On his ankle after hit that caromed off it
“It’s fine. It kind of grazed off me a little bit. I wish it would have grazed off me into one of my teammates’ hands.”
Did you see it as strange inning, some bad luck?
“No. I mean, some things didn’t go our way, but at the same time I’ve got to make better pitches in those situations. I got some sinkers up in the zone and they don’t miss those pitches. I’ve given up plenty of hard-hit balls right at guys. I feel like I just didn’t execute when I needed to, and they hit balls where guys weren’t.”
On being more efficient by letting guys put balls in play like they did tonight
“That’s what I’m trying to do, and it’s working for me at times. And at other times, I need to get a little better.”
That goes back to not trying to strike everybody out, letting the defense work behind you, lower pitch counts?
“There’s definitely times where I’d like to be able to [strike some batters out]. My breaking balls just aren’t as sharp right now, and that’s kind of holding me back from putting away a few of the guys in those situations.”
On the game, pitching well most of the night
“Yeah, it’s a tough game. A well-played game. Hamels threw the ball really well. Got to put up zeroes to beat this team.”
Still the Phillies, despite being below .500 before today and in fourth place?
“Yeah. They’re missing a couple of big pieces of their team, but that’s still a formidable lineup they’re throwing out there every day.”
Pence a quintessential ‘professional’ hitter, to use a cliché?
“Yeah, he puts the bat on the ball. As the cliché says, you do that and good things will happen.”
On Phillies getting several hits to drop, bloops and hits through infield
“You know, there’s going to be those nights, either for us or tonight it happened for the other team. You take those where they come. I feel fortunate – they got a couple of those, but it evened out. They hit a couple of balls hard [for outs]. Tyler made an outstanding play, the catch Matt Diaz made … I mean, it all averages out.”
On the game
“They had a couple of balls fall in no-man’s land. We were the beneficiary of a couple of those, too. Once McCann hit that homer, I figured we were going to start rolling. I never tip my hat to many pitches, but Cole Hamels is one I will constantly tip my hat to. He beared right down after the McCann homer. He got in trouble there with two outs and made the pitches against Francisco.
“He [Hamels] is fun to play against because it’s always going to be a battle, but it’s frustrating as heck because he wins a lot of those battles.”
More on Hamels, after getting a 2-run lead
“He was pitching great. That two-run inning was kind of freakish. Then we came back and tied it. That’s the beauty of this Braves team – we’re going to fight. There’s nothing you can throw at us that we’re not going to keep fighting. We had Hamels on the mound, tied it up, Venters comes in a strikes out another guy and they [score the go-ahead run on wild-pitch strike 3]. It was just a weird game. They scored a couple in weird ways.
“Two runs off Hamels, you can’t be too mad. But then you’ve got to go get some runs off their bullpen.”
On Pence getting two hits where nobody was, through right side and to RF
“The one outfielder in the league who probably knows him best in the world is Mike Bourn, so we felt we had really good positioning on him. And still, it’s the right positioning but you can’t ever count on a bloop. He just squirted one through because our second baseman is playing up the middle, because he hits the ball up the middle. Our first baseman is guarding the line because he slices it down the line a lot, and I’m taking away the right-center field gap. So it just left a ginormous whole and he pushed one through. I promise if you ask him he’ll say he didn’t try to, but it got there.”
On Diaz’s running catch just in front of the right-center wall
“Again, Mike does such a good job of positioning us. He’s a lot like Andruw Jones was in that respect. Playing with him is a lot of fun in the outfield. As soon as that ball was hit, he knew it, he goes, ‘I can’t get it, go get it!’ So I knew right away, it was my ball.”