“Very good. Back-to-back outings for him that were exceptional. Just too bad that he couldn’t line up for the win. Soriano had a helluva at-bat against him to get that double down the line and run him out of there with no decision. But I’m real pleased with the way he pitched today.
“He did a nice job and then the bullpen did a terrific job. O’Flaherty came in to get the lefty Stewart out, then Medlen and Venters… How ‘bout that play Wilson made? It’s first and third and you’re staring at Soriano in a two-run game in the eighth inning if we don’t turn that double play. Not many guys can do that. Wow…. Turned the game around.”
“And Kimbrel in the ninth inning was very good.”
On hitting some balls hard against Dempster but right at people
“Freeman’s going to go home 0-for-3, 0-for-4, and he hit three balls right on the nose. You can’t do anything about that. I thought we all had good at-bats against him. He just kept us off-balance. The old guy – I’m calling Dempster the old guy – he reached back one time and punched out Bourney with 93 [mph]. I think he pitched the whole night at about 88, 89.”
On Delgado getting 5 K’s, all important ones
“He did a nice job, he really did. He goes from an eight-inning outing against Philly, got the loss, to coming in here and getting nothing. But he’s pitched terrific. Every game he’s pitched I think he’s learned something. I’m going to go back and look at the pitch he threw to Soriano. You’ve got a lefty warming up and a lefty on deck. It might have been a helluva pitch on his part; I don’t know. But you don’t want to get beat there with Soriano. Walk him. You can walk him and then you bring O’Flaherty in to face Stewart.
“But his [Delgado] learning curve is a short one. You asked him to do stuff and he picks it up and learns.”
More on the Soriano double
“Again, it might have been a helluva pitch that Soriano hit. I know he had a good at-bat and fouled off some pitches. But I think a veteran pitcher might have said, ‘You know what? I’m not giving in here. You’re going to have to hit one off the dirt or something’ But I’m just giving you an example of something that he may be able to learn from, even though he didn’t get the decision.”
“Good team effort. Danny battled to get that two-run single and get us over the top.”
** BRIAN McCANN
On Delgado’s strong performance
“I think it’s come to be expected. The guy is learning on the fly up here. He’s got all the pitches to be successful, he’s got poise, he holds runners – he does everything you want. And tonight he had everything going and he pitched a great game.”
On Soriano double
“We were trying to go sinker in, and it was one of those situations where with a left-hander on deck we knew he’d bring O’Flaherty in, and first base was open. Those are little things that he [Delgado] will learn. The last pitch was going to be a sinker in his hands, either for a ball or a broken bat. But it leaked over the middle.
“He pitched an unbelievable game. We’re talking about – that pitch right there was supposed to be in, and really it was the only time all night that he missed a spot.”
More on what Delgado and his change-up
“The change-up was as good tonight as I’ve caught it. It almost acted like a split. Threw it down the middle and let it run. That was kind of his pitch tonight, and he got ahead of everybody. And when you do those things and as a catcher you can go anywhere you want to go, both sides of the plate, the pitches kind of tell you where to go next. And that’s what he did tonight. We were in a groove and he made all his pitches.”
On the bullpen
“That’s what the strength of this team is, our bullpen. We’re going to swing the bats, get good starting pitching, hand it over to the guys down there and let them go to work.”
Was the change-up working particularly well tonight?
“Yeah. I think my curveball and fastball, too. Keeping it down in the zone — I think that’s it, that was the key for my change-up today.”
How pleased with the last two starts, have you made a lot of progress?
“Yeah. I work every time in the bullpen, try to stay down in the zone. That’s the thing.”
On the pitch to Soriano that he hit for a double
“I tried to be perfect on the inside of the the strike zone, but I left the pitch right in the middle, a little bit up, and he hit it.”
On the past two starts, have they helped him mentally?
“It [Philly game] gave me a little more confidence, and I tried to do the same thing. It’s working. That’s what I’m doing now.”
On finally getting something going in the 8th inning after 2 nights
“Yeah, we couldn’t get anything going last night; Samardzija was really good. Dempster was just as good. We got a few things going [in the eighth], got Mikey on, got a great at-bat by Prado, Freddie beating that double play out, Mac another great at-bat, then I was just trying to get something in the air toward the middle of the field and ended up finding a hole. That’s what we needed.”
On Delgado’s performance
“Delgado’s been battling and throwing great. Tonight he really pitched his butt off and gave us a chance to win. I hate that we couldn’t get him a ‘w’, but I’m sure he’ll be OK. He’s a great kid and just wants to win.”
On the 4-6-3 double-play turn by Jack Wilson
“As soon as he hit it I was just thinking one [out], get the lead runner. And he [Wilson] is so quick that he got rid of it and got him by a step-and-a-half. Huge play in the game.
“He’s got a sneaky cannon over there. It’s a quick release and kind of reminds me of Jose Reyes a little bit, how quick he gets rid of it and how much velocity he gets on it.”
On playing a couple of more normal games at Wrigley after the high-scoring series at Colorado
“We’re not always going to have those games like in Colorado where you can come back from six and eight runs. In these tougher parks to hit in, where it’s not so spread out, we’re going to have these 3-1 games. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to score five, six, eight runs a game. But the reality is, that’s not going to happen every night.
“But this is a good win. Gives us a chance to win the series tomorrow, and that’s what we set out to do.”