Rogers and Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez
On Delgado: “He deserved a better fate than what he got. The only ball they hit hard for me was the home run. He pitched great. He gave us every opportunity to win the ball game and we didn’t. And Blanton did a nice job for them.”
On keeping the bullpen rested: “You can’t ask for anything more. I guess the only thing you can ask for is a complete game shutout. But he did his part. He really did. I feel bad he goes out and gives you that performance. Most nights with our offense you give up two runs you’ve got a real good chance to win the ballgame. He matched up with Blanton who was a little bit better….He knew exactly what to do and he did it, he gave it to us.”
On getting his offspeed pitches over: “He did everything. He threw both change-ups and curveballs for strikes. His fastball command was good. He did a terrific job. That’s the longest he’s gone in his major league career. That’s a good stepping stone for the next one.”
On offensive struggles: “I think maybe today, maybe you’ve got to tip your hat. Blanton, three-hit shutout. We weren’t as patient as we had been in the past, the last couple series so, maybe it was just a matter of him throwing strikes first pitches, and we got aggressive.”
On how he felt: “I felt a little bit more comfortable today.”
On what was working: “I tried to [concentrate more]. I tried to do what I do in the bullpen.”
On going deep into the game: “Yes. I thought that. I try to be the same each day.”
On Delgado: “The guy is young. When you have a young pitching staff you are going to take some bumps and they are going to be inconsistent. That is why the guys that go out there and are consistent every day get paid a lot of money. He has great stuff. It’s just when you are young like that you are going to have inconsistencies. … He threw the ball well. It just stinks we couldn’t get a win for him.”
On adjustments made by Delgado: “He just threw more strikes. He pounded the strike zone. In his last start he was ball one, ball two. He was getting in hitter’s counts and then it’s tough because you have to be a little finer, you just can’t throw the ball down the middle. He pounded the strike zone. He got his breaking stuff over when he needed to. He threw good change-ups. He was aggressive. He just kept guys off base.”
On offensive woes: “Any time you have an extra-inning ball game and a noon game the next day, you are probably not going to do the same thing. Blanton went out there and pitched as well as I’ve ever seen him pitch. Delgado battled but we couldn’t get anything going.
On Delgado: He had a big inning in Arizona but bounced back, shut them down and gave us a chance. He struggled his last outing but came back today and did everything he needed to do. He gave us a chance to win but we couldn’t get anything going today.”
On road trip: “We are excited to get to Colorado and strap it on with them. We’ve got some tough teams coming up. St. Louis is playing real well. We are looking forward to it.”
“Ten-day road trips tend to get a little long toward the end so it’s good to have them at the beginning of the season when you are fresh. We’ve been playing pretty well on the road.”