On how to break out of this slump
“Good pitching, good hitting, timely hitting, scoring some runs like we had been doing early on in the season. Right now we’re not doing either of those two things, but the one thing we’re doing [is] you see our team playing hard. And they’re not giving up. They’re battling. But two runs a game ain’t cutting it and giving up four or five is not doing it either. Go out tomorrow and get a good pitching performance and score some runs.”
On believing that team is still mentally in it
“Absolutely, these guys are playing the game hard, just got no runs for it.”
On Hanson’s four-run inning and other deficits making it hard on offense
“I think starting pitching sets the tone. I thought getting out of the bases loaded jam with no outs facing the middle of the order, I thought it was going to give us a boost, give Tommy a boost to keep going. He got into another jam in the second and got out of it. Maybe he just tired out. I don’t want to give anybody any excuses and just couldn’t overcome those two high-pitch innings, and we got behind the eight-ball. We got back in it, scoring two runs, and Lynn kept us off-balance. We didn’t do much for the rest of the night.”
On starters’ struggles last time through rotation
“We’ve always been known for our pitching, and we will. We’re just going through a stretch right now. It sets the tone. Starting pitching sets the tone. It takes you deep in ballgames. It keeps you in ballgames. And for the most part, I can’t remember the last time…I guess in Cincinnati we had two good performances. But here at home, other than Huddy, we haven’t really had some performances going deep in ballgames. You get behind the eight-ball, and right now offensively we haven’t been able to recover from that.”
On if McCann got through the game OK
“He did, which was surprising. I thought with the temperature and the humidity and that kind of stuff, I thought he was going to struggle. But that’s a good sign. I kept checking with him every inning or so and he said he was fine.”
On Hinske hitting into the shift, smiling like, what else can I do?
“Exactly. He hit the ball hard and I think we had something going at that time. He hit the ball hard right at somebody and that guy made a great play. He not only shifted him, he made a great effort to stop that ball from getting down in the corner. They shifted him the next at-bat, and he almost made that play too. that line drive that got the base hit. that’s all you can do as a hitter, you’ve got to try to hit the ball hard. You can’t control where that ball’s going and you can’t control where they’re shifting. So I think that smile was because there’s nothing else I can do. I put a good swing on it, and he made a hell of a play.”
On working out of jams in 1st and 2nd innings, but not 3rd
“I was just trying to go out and compete and give my team a good start. That didn’t happen. I felt like my fastball command wasn’t there today. It was at times, but not as consistently as it needed to be. Against a good hitting team, that’s not a good recipe.”
On whether 30-pitch first inning took much out of him
“I still felt good going into the second and third. I don’t think it took anything out of me. It was just a battle to get through.”
On the play that he and Hinske nearly collided on near 1st base, sign of how things have been going?
“I don’t know. It was just one of those in-between plays. I probably could have made a better effort to get it. It was just kind of in-between. That’s kind of how it’s been going lately. We’ve got to do something to get this monkey off our back.”
Any pressure on pitchers this week because of offense sputtering
“Not in my situation. I wanted to go out and give us a quality start and give our team a chance to win. I think today was more of my fastball command and my inability to make pitches when I needed to. I made them at times, but I wasn’t consistently making the pitches I needed to make against a good offensive team like the Cardinals.”
On team not panicking despite longest losing skid since April 2010
“I don’t think anybody’s panicking right now. Obviously when we come to the field we want to win that game. But nobody’s panicking around here. We’re still above .500 right now, and as soon as we start playing good …. we know we were just in first place. We were just beating teams and sweeping teams and taking two out of three. So we know once we’re healthy and back playing well, we’re going to win games and we’re going to be there in the end.”
Is it health, or playing poorly, or a combination of both lately?
“We need our guys to get healthy and to be out there, but there’s nothing we can do about it right now. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got. And we’ve got to compete. A lot of our loss today was my inability to go out there and compete and give us a chance to win. Giving up six runs in three innings when we’re not playing well isn’t going to get the job done. I took a lot of the blame today. We’ve got to do a better job of competing and trying to win these games.”
Feel pretty good today?
“Yeah, I did. I felt fine today. I couldn’t have picked a better day to come back [weather-wise].”
On third inning blowing up on Hanson after earlier escape acts
“Yeah, it did. That’s a good hitting team. They capitalize on mistakes. We got crossed up there in the fourth [McCann expecting fastball, got curveball] to let a run score, and that inning just kept going.
“We’ve got to turn this thing around soon. We’ve got to swing the bats a little bit better, and play all phases of the games a little bit better.”
On losing skid
“We were rolling in Tampa, and then Chip went down and Freeman went down and I went down. That’s 4-5-6 in the middle of the order. You take that out of anybody’s lineup, team’s going to suffer. We’ve just got to stay afloat. We got ourselves off to a really good start. We hit a bump in the road here. We have to bear down and start winning some games.”
On if team’s still there mentally, not checking out, etc
“Oh, we’re there. We’re showing up, we’re working, we’re just not seeing results on the field right now. We know we’re going to continue to show up and battle, and get this thing turned around, hopefully tomorrow.”
On it only taking a big start, a big hit to get things going in right direction
“We just need that big outing, that big knock, to get a win. Now when you get one win, especially when you’re on a long losing streak, anything can happen. We just need to get that one tomorrow. We’re not playing the best baseball now, that’s for sure. So we’ve got to turn it around.”
*** MICHAEL BOURN
On team’s slump
“To be honest, it starts with me. It’s the truth. In the first part of the season when we were starting off rough, I was starting off rough. The part where we were going good, I was going good. I don’t know, it just seems like when I’m going good, the offense is going good. We get more hits, we get more runs. It’s like it’s contagious or something.
“But right now, I might have one good game, then I have a bad one.”
“Today was one of them days where we battled, but they beat us in every facet of the game. So we’ve got to find a way to turn it around and try to play better tomorrow. We just need one game to really get us going back on track again. Baseball is really all confidence. You can work on your mechanic, but the rest of it is confidence in your game. That’s how it goes.”