Braves quotes after Sunday’s win over Rays

FREDI GONZALEZ

On Hudson’s performance

“He was great. That’s what he is, a groundball machine. He did it today efficiently, too. Right at 100 pitches for 7-2/3 innings. He just couldn’t get Upton to make an out against him. But he was terrific.”

On crazy bases-loaded play that ended 8th inning

“That eighth inning was a little interesting. We bring in Jonny to get those left-handers, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an inning in the major leagues end the way that inning ended, but we’ll take it. We won’t give it back.”

On getting Price’s pitch count over 120 in seven innings

“Especially our left-handers, Heyward had some great at-bats against him. And early on in the game we had some good at-bats, drove in two runs. He’s pretty stingy giving up runs. We got him out of there with the high pitch count. That’s a nice ball team they’ve got there. I know they’ve got some guys on the DL and they’re waiting to get healthy, but that’s a helluva pitching staff.”

On Ross coming through with homer on McCann’s day off

“He does that. You look at his numbers, he doesn’t have very many at-bats, but he gets five or six home runs playing part time. It’s nice to have that type of a backup for McCann.”

On beating an ace in Price

“Good for us that we battle, no matter who’s on the mound. Now we’ve got to figure out Cobb and Blanton and those guys. But it’s nice to win, to come out of here with two out of three. Now we get on the bird and go to Cincinnati.”

Any concern about Venters

“Yeah, I mean, I said to Rossy, you’ve got three left-handers [coming to bat], if you don’t get [ahead] in the count, don’t give him. We’ve got three left-handers — I didn’t mean for him to face all three. [Laughs].

“But it’s just mechanical. He’s flying open and his arm drags and he chases those lefties. But we’ll get it fixed.”

**JONNY VENTERS

On the eighth inning

“Leaving balls up. My arm’s dragging a little bit. Got lucky. We were lucky. At first I didn’t know what had happened. I started to run after the ball, I didn’t know what had happened. But we got lucky and won the game. A win’s a win.”

Fredi said problem is just mechanical

“Yeah, my arm feels great. I feel great. I’m just not finishing my pitches. It’s kind of running away from me. I’ve just got to work on getting it down. Just have to make an adjustment that I wasn’t able to make today.”

“They were just bad pitches to both guys I hit. I felt good, though. And to come out of here with two wins is huge.”

**TIM HUDSON

Ton of groundballs today, was sinker working from outset?

“I felt good in the ‘pen with it. The sinker has been the key for me all year, just locating it down in the zone. I was able to mix it in and out today and keep them off-balance with some cutters and some curveballs. It’s really not much of a secret – I just go out there and try to make pitches down, and try to keep those guys behind me in the game and keep them getting as much action as they can. If I can do that, usually we’re OK.”

“Obviously we had a little bit of luck with some defensive plays today, and they had a chance to score some runs but we were able to wiggle out of some jams.”

You enjoy rising to challenge against a guy like David Price?

“He’s been great all year and his whole career. You know the runs were going to be tough to come by. Rossy was able to barrel one on him and give us a nice little lead, which for any pitcher, any lead against a front-line starter is always nice to have. Honestly I didn’t think we were going to get a whole lot more after that. We were able to scratch one more and that two-run lead felt like it was an eight-run lead, just because you didn’t expect to get a whole lot today.”

On watching the eighth inning unfold

“We had some baseball gods on our side. We’ve had plenty of times where it went the wrong way for us, so it’s nice to finally be on the positive side of a crazy play like that, which essentially sealed the win for us.”

On David Ross

“He’s obviously the best backup catcher in the game, there’s no question about that. He could be starting for most teams. He does a great job. I love throwing to him. I’ve always enjoyed throwing to him, from way back in our college days. He catches and throws, calls a great game, and takes a lot of pride when he is back there behind the plate, to call a great game and not only have some good at-bats but help that pitcher get through some quality innings.”

On getting out of bases-loaded jam on Pena flyout to track in sixth

“Obviously you’re in a little bit of a pickle there, facing one of their power guys with the bases loaded. I’d lost a little bit of aggressiveness that got me in the jam a little bit. That was the ballgame for me, I had to make some pitches. I didn’t make a great pitch to him; I think it was an 0-1 curveball. It wasn’t the best of curveballs, but I was able to get off into the bat a little bit I think, and he just missed it. Could have been a different ballgame. But you have to be careful with that guy; he’ll nuke one on you in a second, and it could have been a 4-2 lead for the bad guys if he just centers it a little bit more.”

**DAVID ROSS

On Hudson winning pitchers’ duel

“That was nice, wasn’t it? Huddy, it’s never a surprise when he goes out and pitches well. We rely on him to be our guy, our stopper, our ace, whatever you want to call it. I love catching him. He’s a great teammate and has huge … he competes, know what I’m saying? He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever played with. He threw good and guys battled at the plate. We beat a good pitcher today.”

On getting Price’s pitch count up

“Guys battled. We took a lot of borderline pitches, close pitches. We worked him. We didn’t knock him all over the yard, but we did a good job competing and giving tough at-bats. That’s what we do. Our guys have done a great job of not giving away at-bats. We don’t give away a lot of at-bats. And for the core of this team being young with Heyward and Freeman and Pastornicky, the group that we go with for the most part, they don’t give away at-bats for the most part. It’s fun to watch as an older player.”

What pitch were you looking for and what’d you get (on homer)?

“I was looking for a heater. I mean, he throws so hard you’ve got to respect his heater. He throws 97 [mph], it moves all over the place. He’s a tough pitcher to face, but he’s a little easier for righties, I would say, than lefties. His ball moves so much. I was looking for something hard and he just threw a little backdoor slider and I got good barrel on it. I don’t go opposite field too much, but I just caught it deep, real late. Just kind of threw my hands on it and it got good barrel.”

On how good it feels to contribute as backup when you start

“In my role with the Braves, backing up B-Mac is a treat because when I go in there I go 120 percent and give it all I’ve got. I know I’ve got tomorrow off, no matter what. So if I can keep him out of the game and help us win, that’s my goal. I want to help this team win and keep B-Mac fresh down the stretch.”

On the eighth-inning play

“There was a little luck going our way. It was nice to see. It hit Pena. They did a good job off Jonny; Jonny was a little amped up, flying open a little bit. But he settled down and Luke Scott hit a good pitch. Hit it hard, and it was right at Pena. I was so excited. It was nice, because they have fast outfielders and that ball might have got through. I don’t know if Uggla was going to be able to knock it down. So we got a little luck our way, and it was fun.”

**DAN UGGLA

You think you’d have gotten that hot grounder in eighth (that hit Pena)?

“I don’t know. I would have had to dive for it, so I don’t know. I was pretty happy when I saw it hit him though. I’m not going to lie.”

Didn’t appear that Pena was looking at ball

“He hit it hard, and it was heat-seeking. Got him.”

Ever see anything like that?

“Yeah, I’ve let a ball hit me before, like a tailor-made double play, that kind of thing. In that situation, obviously, it’s one of those unfortunate things for them, fortunate for us. It’s about time something went right in our direction, you know?”

Baseball gods smiled upon the Braves for a day?

“Oh, man, that was unbelievable.”

RAYS’ CARLOS PENA

On grounder hitting him to end eighth inning

“The right thing to do there is to go on the swing. So as soon as the hitter has intent to swing, we’re going. That’s the way we do it over here, and the way we should run the bases. That caught me in mid-stride. I haven’t seen the video but it’s just a helpless feeling because I couldn’t go anywhere; I think I was in the air when the ball hit me. It was a rocket. It’s just bad luck.

“It’s crazy if you stop and think about it. If I run less aggressively or run the wrong way or I’m be lackadaisical, I’d be able to stop and back off of that and we’d score two runs. I think there we get penalized for running the bases correctly.”

47 comments Add your comment

Richard Nixon

May 20th, 2012
5:45 pm

Thanks DOB youre doing a hell of a job…. love the tunes as well

Quack Quack

May 20th, 2012
5:56 pm

Also thanks DOB. Love these articles.

Fantastic game Huddy, and whole team. Great way to end the weekend. Now, lets go beat-up on the Reds.

FW…sign Bourn….give Prado a raise!!

GO BRAVES!!! This is just way too much fun. Pray for Health.

Darryl Blackberry

May 20th, 2012
6:00 pm

Huge win. Braves stay on top in NL East by same margin, start off Interleague Play the right way.

I hope Huddy pitches into his late forties. Would love to see him accrue HOF numbers and eventually enter Cooperstown as a Brave…

Reed

May 20th, 2012
6:03 pm

We never give Huddy much run support, but by God we still win most of the time. GO BRAVES!

Larry

May 20th, 2012
6:05 pm

Dave,

Please ask McCann to walk to the mound and back hand Delgado the next time he walks a lead-off hitter!

Runner-

May 20th, 2012
6:07 pm

padre

May 20th, 2012
6:22 pm

huddy for president

FJ10

May 20th, 2012
6:27 pm

Plays like that in the eighth can tell you something…Just might be our….

Keith

May 20th, 2012
6:30 pm

DOB

I believe this is your best work! Good job.

Braves playing with tons of confidence – sweeping NL Central leaders/WS Champs…and now Rays who were in 1st place. Nice run.

Keith

May 20th, 2012
6:30 pm

*your best work referring to the quotes* :)

bostonbraves

May 20th, 2012
6:43 pm

Got to tip your cap to Huddy

RJB in ATL

May 20th, 2012
7:02 pm

Great game. But the eight inning exposed a serious problem and a question. If everyone seems to agree that Venters is having some mechanical issues with his pitching, should the Braves still be running him out to the mound in late inning “hold” situations?

He is clearly going to need in-game work to fix the issue, but shouldn’t he be doing that work at AAA?

double

May 20th, 2012
7:06 pm

Venter has been a work horse.He needs practice more,to be more prepared before entering a game.

No Flag Since Lemke

May 20th, 2012
7:28 pm

So where is “rose colored glasses” dude who blogged earlier in the weekend that the Braves wouldn’t be able to stay on the same field with the Rays?

Brandon

May 20th, 2012
7:30 pm

@RJB in ATL it sounds more like a small mechanical issue that can be fixed in a bullpen session. In the outing before today he actually looked great out there. I wouldn’t see reason to send him to AAA personally

nashvillewill

May 20th, 2012
7:41 pm

Except for Delgado’s control issues Braves sweep. That was an impressive series. With Hudson and Beachy Braves have two of premier pitchers in baseball. Now on to Cincy and Minor. I am less confident in this series with the pitching matchups, thougjh Minor’s is a good matchup. And Beachy should win again. So I think if Braves split that would be fine. Ross is earning more playing time, especially against lefties.

Fan since 1977

May 20th, 2012
8:17 pm

Huddy and Rossie played together at Auburn? That’s a heck of battery. Wonder how much they made back then. :)

Fan since 1977

May 20th, 2012
8:27 pm

@nashvillewill –

Minor has had three HORRIBLE outings in a row. Tomorrow if he doesn’t pitch like he did at beginning of season we ought to call Teheran up and let Minor join JJ in the “re-learn how to pitch” club.

Anyone, what are reports of JJ’s progress in Gwinnett?

David O'Brien

May 20th, 2012
8:35 pm

Quack Quack and Richad Nixon: Thanks.

(And man, did that feel strange addressing comment to two folks called Quack Quack and Richard Nixon.)

kevkat

May 20th, 2012
8:56 pm

Huddy and Beachy and pray for rain……doesn’t ryhme but you get the point…

reckingball

May 20th, 2012
9:16 pm

This Braves team is fairly good.
go braves

ajcfan1

May 20th, 2012
9:27 pm

Prado 14 for 27 last 7 days.
Player of week NL?
Why not?

reckingball

May 20th, 2012
9:29 pm

Is Hudson on a 100 pitch leash?

reckingball

May 20th, 2012
9:33 pm

Brave Juggernaut rolling to Cincinnati.
A brief slowdown in ATL, to hitch up a tandem Bandwagon, #1 wagon is getting kind of full.
go braves

reckingball

May 20th, 2012
9:34 pm

Does anyone know why Fox-Sports fired Beth Keener?

Bravefaninok

May 20th, 2012
10:27 pm

reckingball

May 20th, 2012
9:29 pm

Is Hudson on a 100 pitch leash?

He just had surgery and missed most of spring training,I bet fredi will start letting him go deeper as he gets more innings.

Joshua

May 20th, 2012
10:27 pm

So…David Price grew up a Braves fan…solid LH pitcher…seems like he should be wearing a Braves uniform to me.

Joshua

May 20th, 2012
10:29 pm

With Hudson, Beachy and Hanson, our rotation is pretty awesome. But if we could throw Price in the mix…we would be truly intimidating.

Largo

May 20th, 2012
11:15 pm

Venters doesn’t inspire a hell of a lot of confidence anymore. I’d almost rather see Durbin coming in to pitch. Good Lord, did you hear what I just said?

alex

May 20th, 2012
11:28 pm

@largo, you’re drinking again, ….
@kevkat, I was thinking the same thing, beachy and huddy and pray for a big muddy, ughhh!
@reckingball, please put down your pompoms….

reckingball

May 21st, 2012
12:18 am

alex………aka, Snidely Liplash, are you attempting to be a cyber-bully?
Do you have the intelligence to ever contribute anything of substance?
It looks like that all you can do, is comment on what others say, usually a smartazz comment, at that.
It’s getting kind of late, so you might need to get in the bed, so that your mama can tuck you in, and read you a bedtime story.
Haha, you are highlarious.
Yeaaaaaa team, Gooooo Braves!!!!!!!!!!!!

Younger Than That Now

May 21st, 2012
1:59 am

The Braves beat the Rays best two pitchers this weekend, and even with their injuries this is a tough team to beat in St. Pete. Good game today and a moving tribute to Chipper… I wish everybody watching on TV could have seen the entire thing. Classy move by the Rays, a classy organization! On to Cincy!

GO BRAVES!

Thomas

May 21st, 2012
7:17 am

I give the Braves leadership credit for a very fruitful first of the year record:, however, I think they are
exercising their team loyalty a bit too much by allowing Uggla to remain in the #4 slot in batting. Uggla really needs to be in the #7 or 8 position in batting order, perhaps in the # 9 slot.. We are losing tons of runs by his continual strikeouts with men in scoring position. I know he can hit a ball a mile, if he can connect. Perhaps if he would not try to hit a homerun everytime he came to the plate,
he would be a more profitable hitter. Unless something happens, he will be batting a shade to the
negative side of 200 by the end of the year. Might as well bite the bullet and do something now
for the entire team’s sake and put him back in the minors or move him to the bottom of the batting
order.

braves boff

May 21st, 2012
7:32 am

does dan uggla strikeout everytime there is a runner on second or third less than two outs?
Sure seems that way!

Good grief Charlie Brown

May 21st, 2012
7:57 am

@Thomas: the last place Uggla will go is back to the minors; he probably won’t bat any lower than 7th all year, no matter how bad he’s doing.

@braves boff: i was thinking the same thing about Uggla, it’s frustrating to watch him constantly wave at pitches out of the zone.

when Venters came in, i told my buddy ‘watch this: he’ll hit at least one batter and maybe walk one or two’. lucky is right, if Pena isn’t running hard then no telling if Uggla gets to that grounder. he almost spoiled Huddy’s awesome start.

alex

May 21st, 2012
8:27 am

cyber.. what….what a syncopathic whimp…. rah! rah!

ijudgenot

May 21st, 2012
8:28 am

Uggla is the only starting power hitter the Braves have from the right side, so Fredi has him in the middle to try to balance the lineup. I would agree that he needs to be moved down to 5th or 6th when a right handed starter is facing the Braves. Walker has changed the mindset of every starter’s hitting except Uggla. He still swings for the fences on every pitch. The Braves are winning more games with what seems to be less home runs than last year, just good situational hitting. Uggla has not bought in to that yet. He also has played every inning so far. Why has Fredi not given him a one day a week rest like he has with all the other starters, especially when they face righthanders? Prado could move to second and he could insert Francisco in leftfield, putting another lefthanded hitter in lineup.

reckingball

May 21st, 2012
9:46 am

Sometimes I wonder if some of the people, on these blogs, even bother to watch any of the Braves games.

Max Sizemore

May 21st, 2012
9:51 am

I was at the game, and I noticed that Venters was the only relief pitcher not playing catch before the game in the outfield. He was also, I don’t think, not shagging flies during batting practice. Something going on there?

Tommy

May 21st, 2012
10:29 am

@reckingball Beth was suing for sexual harrassment. They fired her to kep from going to court.

reckingball

May 21st, 2012
1:10 pm

Firing someone that has made an accusation about sexual harrassment, keeps them from going to court and suing you?
As the great Johnny Carson used to say “I did not know that”. haha
go bravos, yeaaaaaaa team!

Tommy

May 21st, 2012
1:24 pm

@reckingball If she is right, I hope she goes thru with it.

stew

May 21st, 2012
1:29 pm

How can anybody bitch about Uggla? He’s gonna 30-35 HRs at the of the year and hit .270. So he can’t field. Can Pastornicky, Chipper, Prado, or McCann do any better?

Tommy

May 21st, 2012
1:35 pm

@stew. Not complaining about defense. He has a slight problem of striking out with men in scoring. He will be OK. Give it time. Go Braves!!!

Serbok

May 21st, 2012
2:37 pm

@ some point this year~ Uggla Will catch fire.
when he does it will be fun :-)

reckingball

May 21st, 2012
5:10 pm

Uggla has already hit the game winning and/or tying RBI in several Braves wins this season. He is a pretty good fielder also.
I have seen a bunch of different Braves strikeout with RISP.
It happens, they call it baseball.

74bravesjersey

May 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

Is Evan Gattis still rakin’ in ‘AA? Gosh, I know we ain’t got no reason to bring him up unless someone goes down or if someone goes into a massive slump, but he would be another massive thumper RH in the lineup. I think he’s big on contact & not just a hr’ or nothing flailler. I looked career wise, He doesn’t “K” much at all.

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