** 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”