on what happened to Delgado
“I really couldn’t tell you. He couldn’t command anything, really. He was behind in the count a couple of different times and got a little, I don’t know, edgy on the mound? Uncomfortable I guess is a better word. That wasn’t the same guy in his last turn against the Orioles.
“It’s just one of those things. We scored four different innings and they came back and scored in [the bottom of] three of those innings. You get a couple of shutdowns in those innings and it’s a different game….
“It was a [winnable] game all the way to the seventh inning, it was a two-run game.”
On not taking advantage early
“Morales got out of a first and third, nobody out in the first with only one run. That kind of gave them a boost, they come back and score two in that inning. Other than that end of it, I’m really proud of the way we played offensively. We kept battling and kept battling, and made it a game. They just kept adding on every time we scored. We just couldn’t get closer than two runs.”
On Delgado not having an ‘out’ pitch tonight, nothing real effective
“Nothing. Yes. Maybe the word is not comfortable, maybe it’s frustration. He got a little frustrated with his lack of command of pitches, and that’s maybe [because he’s] a young starter. Just one of those days. We go out tomorrow with Minor and go out with a chance to win the series.”
On Delgado having one of those starts young pitchers are prone to have
“When you’re bringing a young starter along there are going to be some days when it’s not going to look as good. Sometimes you’re going to feel like the young man’s turned a corner and you take a step backwards. That’s where we feel like it is today.”
On the offense
“We hit the ball hard. How ‘bout Bourney sliding in head-first? And Heyward, we were taking an extra base at third on the [pop foul]. I’m really proud of our team offensively. It’s just, to ask our bullpen guys to hold the Red Sox, who are third in the league in hitting, for 6-1/3 innings or something…and we were in it the whole game.”
On Anthony Varvaro’s two solid relief innings
“I was really encouraged. His velocity – he was really cranking it up. He just ran out of gas at the end. We bring in Jonny to try to get a sinkerball. I know people at home are probably thinking, bring in a lefty to face a righty and then the next inning bring the righty to face the left-handers. But you feel like you know your guys better than everybody else… But again, I thought Anthony did a terrific job.”
“He throws a wild pitch, so two guys go to second and third. Then a ball that’s just a foot out of reach of Freeman … He [Venters] is going to be OK, though. I think. The sinkerball is sinking, and the ground balls are getting through.”
Take Delgado out with bases loaded and Gonzalez up, to avoid possibly giving up another grand slam?
“I wasn’t really worried about that as much as I was worried about, I think at that point he had right at about 60 pitches, and he labored from the very beginning. That was my train of thought.”
On his performance
“I don’t know, just a bad day today. I felt good with my pitches, everything. But I gave up hits.”
You felt good with all your pitches?
“Yeah, I felt comfortable like with the curve and the change-up. I mean, maybe I left the pitches right in the middle, but I felt good with all my pitches. But they hit them. They hit the ball at the right time.”
Gave up only three hits and two runs in your last start against Baltimore….
“I was trying to do the same thing, stay in the strike zone and attack. I think I did it like I wanted, but I’ll say again, they hit the ball.”
On his change-up and fastball
“I left it right in the middle. That’s a good team. They won’t miss those mistakes.”
On his near-home run to right-center
“I can’t hit the ball any better. I can’t leave [the ‘yard] out that way, I guess.”
Just one of those young-starter nights for Delgado?
“Yeah. He didn’t have it. He didn’t have location tonight. When a young pitcher struggles with location, it snowballs on him fast. And it snowballed on him. You’ve got to really get him to slow himself down. He just wants to get it and go, get it and go, get it and go. And it’s harder to make adjustments that way.
“And for whatever reason, he lost the arm-side of the plate with his fastball and got behind, had to come at them. That team’s going to hurt you – any team’s going to hurt you when you constantly fall behind.”
Still in the game till the two-run hit in seventh
“Yeah, I felt [trailing] 4-1, 6-2, 6-4, that we had a chance. But when you’re on the comeback trail, can’t give up runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. And we gave up two huge ones there in the [seventh]. That was pretty much the nail in our coffin.”
On only scoring one run in the first
“We needed to get more out of the first than we did. We really had a chance to set the tone for the ballgame and have them play catch-up, and hopefully give our young guy a little bit of breathing room. But unfortunately we only got the one, and they come out of the top of the first feeling good about things as opposed to being down two or three runs.”
Did Morales change anything after first few batters
“I don’t know. He was fastball-split to right-handers. If you get him down in the zone, you can hit him. But when you’re swinging at balls belt-high and above, he’s pretty tough.”