Braves quotes after sweep at Colorado

** FREDI GONZALEZ

On Beachy and the win

“Today was a real good outing for Beach, and for the pitching staff. Got to kind of resemble a baseball game instead of the last two nights. We were just talking about leaving here with your bullpen in kind of decent shape. It doesn’t happen very often. Usually for us to win three games, you expect to use everybody.

“It was great for Livan yesterday to give us those couple of innings, and Martinez gave us 2-2/3 innings, and we leave here in decent shape bullpen-wise.”

On Freddie Freeman

“I think the biggest compliment that anybody could give Freddie Freeman was Chipper the other day, he came in and said, I think this is your 3-hole hitter for a long time. And for Battleaxe to say that, that’s a helluva compliment. I don’t think you can say anything more than that.”

On Beachy’s shutout bid

“We were going to give him a shot. It just got to where we didn’t want to [push it further]. What’d it get to, 110? That was nice for him to do, after watching the two games prior. Mentally, he did a helluva job.”

On the squeeze bunt backfiring, unlike previous times he’s done it this year

“We didn’t execute it very well today. It was a tough pitch. Suicide squeezes, that’s why they call it suicide. You try to pick a pitch you can bunt, and Nicasio, on second thought, he’s a tough guy to bunt against with the big sinker. We didn’t get the bat on the ball, and we didn’t do a very good job baserunning at first base. So we came out looking like we didn’t know what we were doing. But it didn’t come back to haunt us.”

More on Beachy

“He’s maturing. The more he goes out there and learns…. He did a fantastic job in the first inning, shut-down innings, getting past the fifth innings – all those hurdles that he was having trouble with last year, he jumped them all. So just keep going forward.”

On Venters’ morning bullpen test for shoulder

“He was good. He was warming up in the bullpen during the game just in case. We had both of those guys [Venters and Kimbrel] warming up just in case things got a little out of hand. They’re both good to go.”

**FREDDIE FREEMAN

On his stunning stats vs. Rockies

“I don’t know, I feel like I’m doing the same things against them than I do against the other teams, but I guess I just hit the ball better here.”

Were you determined to make that gapper a triple?

“Yeah. You know, I hadn’t had one yet, and it’s a big gap. I was halfway to second and he was still running after it, so even if I did hit a wall [between second and third bases], I think I still would have made it. The parachute came out around second, but I still made it.”

On series sweep at Coors Field

“We scored runs and we pitched great. The first two games, they got off to an early lead and then our pitchers shut them down the rest of the way. It kept us in the game and we were able to come back and score runs. Six runs, seven runs aren’t enough in this ballpark. It’s a huge gap, the ball flies, and you’ve just got to be able to keep grinding out at-bats.”

On starting nine-game trip with a sweep

“You always just try to win series, and to come on the road trip and get a sweep in the first series, that’s the best way to start off a road trip.”

Nice to win a game in somewhat normal fashion, after the first two wild ones

“Yeah, Beachy was unbelievable. He went out there, threw strikes, let us play defense and let us go. He wasn’t trying to strike everybody out, he was just trying to throw strikes. He was able to get into the seventh inning and when it got a little tight right there, Cristhian came in and shut the door.”

**BRANDON BEACHY

On improvement over his first start at Coors last year

“We had a good gameplan. I stuck to it for the most part. At times, some pitches, my slider especially, I couldn’t rely on it like I usually would. So we went a little heavier on the fastball. I was throwing that well today, so it worked out.”

Threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of first 19 batters

“That’s one of the things I try to do. It makes it that much harder for them, like hitting from a hole.”

Did you start to think you might get to eight or even ninth inning?

“I’m just trying to to keep it one inning at a time. My thought is always, get ahead of the leadoff guy. And once I do that, get him out. Once I can do that, that helps me get momentum to get through that inning. I didn’t do that in the last inning. I would have liked to get through that one clean, but it didn’t happen.”

Coors Field doesn’t have to be nightmare for pitchers?

“No. I remember last year, the ball might fly a little farther, but as far as my pitches they worked pretty much the same. I kind of let that get into my head a little bit last year. Now knowing if I just stick to my gameplan, if I hit some spots I’m going to be able to get guys out. I was able to do that for those first six [innings].”

On getting into a groove, being more efficient

“I was feeling really good, getting ahead of guys. There were a lot of times where because of my slider being unreliable, I went 0-2 and then straight to 2-2 by throwing non-competitive off-speed pitches and letting them back in it. And that probably hurt my chances of going nine because the pitch count went up. But today was definitely a day when I felt good. That’s easiest to tell just by me getting ahead of these guys.”

On how good team feels leaving here with a sweep

“Watching these guys swing the bat the last three days is pretty assuring for the pitching staff. I can’t say enough about the way we played defense today, too. I can throw some pitches over the plate behind in the count and let them take their whacks, and if it stays in the yard they’ve got a pretty good chance of running it down out there.”

**DAVID ROSS

On Beachy’s performance

“He did a good job. We talked after two days of watching the games here, about how you’ve got to establish that first-pitch fastball, and he did a great job. I don’t know what his percentage of strikes were on first pitches, but they had to be pretty good, because he was pumping the zone pretty good. And when you do that, when you establish your fastball, you’re going to be a good pitcher.”

“I know he’s been throwing well as of late. I haven’t caught him; he’s been throwing great with Mac. And he did the same thing today. He threw well, pounded the zone with his heater. Defense made some great places. You’ve got to really tip your hat to our outfielders and infielders. That’s a really tough lineup that he’s facing, and they did a great job.”

Nice to have a more normal game here?

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if it’s ever normal, I don’t think my stress level ever went down even in the ninth. It’s just one of those things, a blooper here, a bleeder there and you’re talking about murderers’ row coming up. So you can’t relax. We didn’t. Our pitchers did a great job. We needed a good performance out of Beachy because our bullpen needed a little break. They’ve been taxed a lot.

“That’s a good team we just came in here and put a beating on. Proud of the guys. Now let’s go to Chicago and see what we can do.”

On Freddie Freeman and the offense

“Our hitters never gave up any at-bats, and Freddie Freeman’s an absolute beast. I mean, that guy … that guy is amazing. I’d love to be like him one day.”

“I don’t know that he gets the hype that most guys do, but that guy’s a really good player. Think about how the guy has just absolutely destroyed those guys. For them to hit him in the first at-bat, and he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah? I’m going to hit a home run and a triple, how do you like that?’ I would hate to piss that guy off. He’s a stud.

“We’ve got a lot of good players, and it’s nice to win with B-Mac and Chipper out. That’s a huge thing, too. Give those guys a good break and the bullpen a break, and we go into Chicago fresh, play hard there and we’ve got an off day before a big series at St. Louis.”

60 comments Add your comment

first

May 6th, 2012
7:56 pm

second

May 6th, 2012
8:01 pm

Thanks DOB – good work on getting us these quotes – I for one appreciate them!

BillClinton

May 6th, 2012
8:02 pm

Sometimes, sloppy 3rd is ok

third

May 6th, 2012
8:03 pm

and I, also, really look forward to these quotes – thanks, DOB

rc35

May 6th, 2012
8:04 pm

I wish Fredi had put in a pinch hitter for Beachy and let him leave without giving up any runs. That would have been a real confidence-builder. Still, we won, so it’s been a great series!

Denis Menke

May 6th, 2012
8:04 pm

Simmons hitting .320 at MS; Gattis raking.

Don Nottebart

May 6th, 2012
8:06 pm

Cristian Martinez doing well. Pitches better when he drinks. Beachy for All Star game. Let’s be careful though. Some of you wanted JJ to start last year’s AS game and Hansen to be on the roster. Now, look what happened.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:08 pm

Braves all-timers list
1. Hank Aaron
2. Warren Spahn
3. Eddie Mathews
4. Chipper Jones
5. John Smoltz
6. Maddux
7. Glavine
8. Dale Murphy
9. Phil Neikro
10. Andrew Jones

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:12 pm

@ Don Nottebart. Being selected on the All-star team does not turn you into a bad player. What happened to Jurrjens and Hanson IMO was injuries and I feel that neither are fully healed from them.

Don Nottebart

May 6th, 2012
8:18 pm

Supposedly, Hanson and JJ are not injured now. Results are still not there. Being selected to an AS game on one good season or half of one, might be the problem. If you remember, Nate McLouse made an AS game once.

Nardville

May 6th, 2012
8:18 pm

Big deal. So they beat a lousy team.

Ken Stallings

May 6th, 2012
8:18 pm

For Beachy to toss a one-hit shutout over six complete at Coors Field is about as close to perfect as one can achieve at that ball park. It isn’t just the altitude’s effect on the hits. The altitude also affects the pitches. Beachy did a good job disguising that fact, but there is too much information out on it. He did a great job!

Colorado manager Jim Tracy’s post-game press conference was again interesting to listen to. He was asked about Beachy and Tracy said he did exactly what his starting pitchers failed to do when they got leads in games one and two — throw strikes.

Strange as it may seem to praise the Braves pitching staff the truth is they deserve to be praised. The starters in game one and two pitched well but struggled eventually. The bullpen pitched great and Beachy pitched great.

The Braves have to continue feasting on NL Central and West teams. The NL East is a beast with the Phillies in last place at just a game under .500! I think the NL East teams are going to trade blows when they play each other, so the more games the Braves can win against other division teams the better!

Ron Piche

May 6th, 2012
8:20 pm

I am better than Durbin. Anyone, remember me?

Ken Stallings

May 6th, 2012
8:29 pm

J-Man, interesting and nice list. But, I cannot put John Smoltz ahead of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Phil Neikro. Those three are all 300-game winning hall of fame pitchers. Smoltz will also go into the hall of fame, but he did not win 300 games in his career.

Where I slot Maddux, Glavine and Chipper is difficult. I might have to put Maddux just behind Warren Spahn and Glavine just ahead of Chipper.

Aaron
Spahn
Maddux
Matthews
Glavine
C. Jones
Neikro
Smoltz
Murphy
A. Jones

Another Clueless Blogger

May 6th, 2012
8:34 pm

Nardville May 6th, 2012 8:18 pm Big deal. So they beat a lousy team.

Ok Nardville, so you’re a Phillies fan. It’s going to be a long season for your Phils.

jim

May 6th, 2012
8:36 pm

J-Man,
agree on 1 & 2 but then I have 3. Maddux, 4. Chipper, 5, Matthews, 6. Smoltz, 7. Glavine, 8. Burdett, 9. Niekro, 10. Murphy — Andruw, McGriff, Adcock, McCann, Logan are my honorable mentions

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:38 pm

@ Ken Stallings Im looking at what they did with the Braves…….therefor because Maddux spending nearly 10 years away from the braves and Glavine spending 5 years and Neikro did win 300 games but played for nearly 24 years and had some sub-par seasons on his way to 318 wins….he also had 274 losses. That knuckle ball led to a lot of longevity. But as for total time pitcher Maddux is better than Smoltz no doubt but I’m just including playing time with the Braves.

John

May 6th, 2012
8:41 pm

Ken but Smotlz had 150 saves and is the only pitcher or maybe Eckersly did it but I do not think so, to have 155 saves and 213 wins

Shawn

May 6th, 2012
8:47 pm

That squeeze play had to be one of the dumbest coaching decisions in history. You call a suicide squeeze in a tight situation when teams are not expecting it and the pitcher does not tip his hand till the last second. You don’t call it after the guy squared the previous pitch. They got a double play to put them out of an inning and had to have Beachy start the next inning to boot. The Braves keep winning despite the idiot skipper, Geeze! SMH

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:49 pm

Smoltz is the only pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves. Also I think no other pitcher hd as much heart and guts that Smoltz had. Remmeber 1999 when his arm was shot and he knew he needed Tommy John surgery. he was throwing knuckleballs because and anything he could get over the plate beause he wanted to compete and win. And when he came back he became the Closer.

John

May 6th, 2012
8:52 pm

Just so us that are not as smart as you are Shawn can understand………………….When the Braves win they do so because Fredi messed up and the team overcame it, but when they lose it is because the team did what Fredi wanted them to do? I guess Fredi has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they lead the majors in runs scored. Thanks for the knowledge.

John

May 6th, 2012
8:55 pm

Smoltz is also second in postseason wins all time as well.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:56 pm

Fredi is not a great manager…….true
Fredi is not a good manager…….could be true
Fredi has questionable decisions……..No Doubt
But in Fredi’s defense this season he has tried to save his pitchers armss and not the same 3 guysout there every day like he did last year. I do wish he would be more firery, but lets face it Fredi is only a “Figure head” manager…….The real manager and leader of this team is Chipper.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
8:58 pm

@ John im glad you see Smoltz’s TOTAL greatness. Also any player that hates Mark Bradley is ok lol.

Game Changer

May 6th, 2012
8:59 pm

Braves are exceeding expectations to this point.

Without Chipper the braves would have 5 or more loses for the season

Box score is scary: 11 strikeouts today 3 walks 9 hits

hope the stats dont catch up to the reality of this team

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
9:02 pm

@ gamechanger that was a Colorado box score in that this team was swing for the fences in that Colorado air

John

May 6th, 2012
9:04 pm

Most managers are “figure heads” as you put it J-Man. The key word that keeps getting overlooked is MANAGER. They are not coaches they are overseers. Yes it all falls on their heads, but the coaches on the staff of managers are there to do their job of coaching.

Quack Quack

May 6th, 2012
9:10 pm

Hey Nardville, pull it with your negative comments. Our BRAVES are playing as well as I’ve seen them play in quite some time. If this offends you then find another blog to vent. GO BRAVES!! Lets get to Chicago and give them the same thing.

Brian

May 6th, 2012
9:13 pm

Keep it up as long as you can boys. Question though: With Hinske and Diaz both on fire lately, wouldn’t it make more sense to have one of them in LF and Prado back to 3B on Chipper’s off days? Francisco’s ok I suppose, just being nitpicky I guess. C

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

May 6th, 2012
9:14 pm

Fun games to watch. Still have not observed enough of fast Fredi to form an opinion; however, it does appear that he is doing some things differently this year (i.e. hitting coaches, saving bullpen arms, etc.) that appear to be working. Resting Chipper is going to be controversial at times, but so far, it is very, very effective.

He wins the games against the teams that we are supposed to beat; however the Phils, some AL teams, etc. still prove a tough nut for the Braves to crack. Long season.

Good to see JJ perform well today.

Shawn

May 6th, 2012
9:17 pm

John, I said they win despite Fredi. Which means they overcome his stupidity. There is a reason the Marlins ran him off. After 1 full season I am starting to see why. He is a clown!

Tampa Gator

May 6th, 2012
9:18 pm

As a teenager, I listened on radio to Phil Niekro’s first start in the majors against the Phillies….a one hitter. If Niekro had pitched for the Braves of the last 15 years, he would have easily won 400 games. Just behind Warren Spahn as the best Braves pitcher ever. Then Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz……and even having those three most of his managing career….Bobby Cox managed the Braves to only one WS title……amazing????????????

Shawn

May 6th, 2012
9:22 pm

I will give him credit for the hire of a decent hitting coach. He just makes some of the most idiotic in game decisions. If Beachy gets a flyball we score a run, if he strikes out we get Bourn up, and if he hits into a double play at least he does not lead off the next inning. What a way to ruin what could have been a big inning. I was having flashbacks to the big lead we blew up there 2 years ago after that. At least they held on today!

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
9:23 pm

Well John to that extent I say Fredi has done a lot better this season than last season.
Last season:
Fredi ran D Lowe every 5th game, kept Uggla in the line up batting 4th while batting under .200
He overused Oventrbrel and pitched Hanson nd Jurrjens with injuries until they had to go on the DL. He also didn’t make any adjustments and allowed a 10 1/2 game lead with a month to dissappear.

This Season.:
Fredi Benched Freeman for 2 games and since then has been the best offensive player in the Majors (look at his stats before and after the benching)
Fredi benched pastornicky and since then he has raised hiss Avg from .154 to .260
Also Fredi is not wasting his relievers and allows Livan, C. Martinez and Medlen to eat up innings.

But I think the real reason Fredi has changed is because Schulholtz and Wren told him to. And Wren is the 1 that sent Jurrjens down because he knew that Fredi would till be throwing him out tere to get lit up.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
9:25 pm

Fredi still show a lack of intensity and makes questionble moves…..so at the moment we are maybe not winning in spite of Fredi but Fredi hasnt helpedus win any games

Delaware Dawg

May 6th, 2012
9:31 pm

I think you have to tip your cap to FG, he did a heckuva job in this interview. Go Braves!!

Mister Frisky

May 6th, 2012
9:35 pm

J-Man,You forgot Brooks Conrad.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
9:37 pm

@ Mister Frisky I was trying to block him out all together…..Scott Protor as well

Mister Frisky

May 6th, 2012
9:40 pm

@J-Man,Just kidding bro.I wanted to make myself laugh.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
9:45 pm

I think Schulholtz is really involved with the day to day opperation of the Braves this season than he was last season because he made that guarente that that choke was unacceptable and said it wouldnt happen again and I feel he is keeping an eye on Fredi and will make him make a change when it warrants it.

Who Me?

May 6th, 2012
10:11 pm

Both Simmons and Gattis need to be bumped up by next month….

Ron Piche

May 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

Won’t happen. Braves’ excuse will be they are not on the 40 man roster.

J-Man

May 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

I hope Gattis cn become a versitle player because he is a Catcher. hopefully he can be a decent left fielder. Also, Simmons should have had the start over pastornicky……he outperformed him in Spring Training. But Pastornicky scares me with his defense.

Darryl Blackberry

May 7th, 2012
2:01 am

Also:

Jair with another good outing at Gwinnett this weekend. Won 6 to 2 with a quality start. Hell of an insurance policy, should a starter ever get injured. (*wood knock*)

Brandon

May 7th, 2012
2:13 am

@Shaun – the decision to do a suicide squeeze may have been a little unorthodox, but it was not necessarily a bad decision.

Whenever a batter squares up to sacrifice, most pitchers will generally concede the out and pitch to contact. Considering that beachy had already squared up twice, fredi probably assumed that beachy would get a good pitch to bunt and perform the suicide squeeze. If the bunt works, francisco most likely scores because he was already halfway down the line.

So i understand that it is not your typical way of doing things, but atlanta had a 4 run lead…Take a risk!

Also, it sounds like you blame Fredi for beachy starting off the next inning when that was pastornicky’s fault for his baserunning blunder.

TexasRose

May 7th, 2012
4:25 am

Hats off to Davis Ross, today’s official Atlanta Braves’ cap tipper!

Lobosolo

May 7th, 2012
5:49 am

… and the experts weigh in……

chris

May 7th, 2012
10:26 am

Cut Gonzalez some lack guys we just swept Colorado for first time since 2003.. enjoy some prosperity, it’s a long season with a lot of baseball to go but I like this team’s grittiness and its certainly obvious we’re able to score runs when we need to even against good starters. Doc Holliday is no fourth starter or bullpen dude, hes the ace of the Phillies and we pounded him when behind the other night. Thats the difference in this team and last year’s bunch and like it or not that comes from the manager. Id like to see Fredi get in the face of the umpires too a bit more but he’s not Bobby Cox, he’s Fredi G, Give him a shot. Can’t go back and replay last year its under the bridge this is 2012 and if we keep hitting I believe we’re going to be playing in October. Freddie F- You da man!

Fats OKelly

May 7th, 2012
11:23 am

FG is feeling more comfortable with this Braves team and vice versa. Everybody on that team had to LEARN from last year’s flop. Keep rockin Braves…………….”It’s a long road to Nashville”..as Hank Williams Sr would say

Samantha

May 7th, 2012
11:23 am

@chris…..Completely agree, But do not put us in playoffs yet.

Dwayne

May 7th, 2012
12:08 pm

FIRE DON SUTTON!!!!!

sldkfjslk

May 7th, 2012
1:35 pm

1. Aaron
2. Rufino Linares
3. Albert Hall
4. Nick Esasky
5. Milt Thompson
6. Omar Moreno
7. Ken Oberkfell
8. Ed Olwine
9. Marvin Freeman
10. Tony Tarasco

Mikey

May 7th, 2012
1:44 pm

Love how Chipper got fired up and did something about it. Whole team seemed to playing with more fire after that Moyer spat..

Mikey

May 7th, 2012
2:10 pm

Early prediction on “sweet Freddie Freeman”, our new #3 hitter that will be plating Mr Bourn many more times this season

2011 stats:.282 ba. 67r/s, 76 rbi, 21 hr. .346 obp
2012 trend:.315 ba. 100r/s,120 rbi 30 hr .346 obp

Samantha

May 7th, 2012
2:13 pm

@Mikey I hope so, but do not see it happening.

Mikey

May 7th, 2012
2:30 pm

The key is the amazing ability and speed of Mr Bourn to get on base (currently 40% of his ab’s) and as you know as a baseball fan the incredible leverage he gets batting 3rd with Uggla or McCann backing him up. Remember last year he batted 6/7 slot with very little excitement on the bases or behind him.

Kevin

May 7th, 2012
2:58 pm

I am a huge McCann fan, but I really enjoy watching David Ross call a game. He seems to know exactly how to use the pitcher’s strenghts to the fullest potential. Best backup cather in the bigs.

stew

May 7th, 2012
3:06 pm

First and third. One out. Every time our play is to let the pitcher sacrifice. It never works. If Beachy sacrifices we end up with second and third two outs. Gonzo is a loser.

stew

May 7th, 2012
3:40 pm

1. Andruw best defensive player
2. Maddux best pitcher
3. Chip best player
4. Spahn winningest pitcher
5. Aaron most HRs without steroids
6. Smoltz best stuff
7. Mathews 500 HRs
8. Glavine best pitcher without stuff
9. Murphy played with losers
10. Niekro also played with losers

Mikey

May 7th, 2012
4:07 pm

stew: I love Chip and he is probably in the top 2 at third base of all time behind Schmidt. But you may want to check a few other stats on Hank Aaron besides his hrs.
Like:
#1 in rbi’s, career extra base hits

3,771 career hits 3rd all time, Runs scored 2,174 tied with Ruth 4th all time

3 Gold Gloves/20 allstar appearances/MVP (and back to dingers) the only player ever to hit 30 or more hrs. in a season 15 times…..did I mention he also played for 23 years

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