On the loss
“It just came down to that last inning, really. Couple of base hits up the middle. I wanted to throw a back-door slider right there [to Valbuena] and it kind of leaked over the middle.”
On his performance, good until 7th inning
“I felt real good with my stuff. I was throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys, keeping my pitch count low. It just didn’t go well in that last inning.”
On his two losses to Samardzija this inning
“Both times I’ve faced him he’s had unbelievable stuff. Throws hard and good split, and he started throwing those sliders in there. Anytime you’re mixing three pitches, that’s tough.”
On pitching well and seeing it ruined by one big hit
“It’s frustrating. It’s not like I went out there and got beat up. I felt like I had my good stuff and it just came down to that one inning. Those are the frustrating games, and the ones that are tough to swallow.”
So you felt good about your pitches other the 3-run double?
“I felt great, besides, the one to Rizzo [leadoff first-pitch homer in fourth inning]. He guessed right and ambushed me. It was a fastball down and away hit out of the park. So there’s not much you can do there. Like I said, it came down to that last inning. Those base hits up the middle. I felt like I didn’t really have to give in to Barney [on the walk that loaded the bases], with Valbuena coming up and then Samardzija — we know he’s going to stay in there; I don’t think they’re going to pinch-hit in that situation.
“So, I mean, I had a chance to get out of that inning. That pitch just kind of ran back over the middle, instead of staying away.”
“You can look back and say I should have thrown a different pitch. It just didn’t work out. Any other time in that situation, I feel like I make that pitch. And I just didn’t today, and it cost us the game.”
“He was good today. Real good. Good slider, good split, located his fastball, stayed on top of the hitters. You know, you’ve got to go out there and respect 95-96 [mph fastballs], and he was getting his secondary pitches where he wants them — it’s going to be a long day for anybody.”
“But we got beat in all three facets of the game tonight, for whatever reason. Tommy pitched great until they scored the three runs. But the offense and defense, at times, wasn’t there.”
Is there something missing with this team right now?
“Just the inability to put all three facets together at the same time. And do it consistently, every…single…day. And for whatever reason, it’s just not happening. We get a good pitching performance, we don’t swing the bats. We get a good pitching performance, we don’t play defense. We swing the bats, we don’t pitch. It’s frustrating. But if the guys in this clubhouse want to get to where we want to go, we better start playing better.”
Are you confident you guys can turn it around with what you have here now?
“Yeah. I said earlier, this team at times plays brilliantly. We play great. And then other times, we more resemble the Bad News Bears. And that doesn’t cut it up here.”
On Bourn hitting into double play (Simmons doubled off third)
“In that situation, you’ve got to sell out and go on contact. The score was 0-0 at the time. You’ve got to go on contact. You can’t read the ball there, for me anyway. If that ball is on the ground, he scores easy. It was an aggressive play and we hit a line drive at the shortstop. That’s the way it goes.
“We had another opportunity, and we scored a run and came back and tied that game. And right away, they scored. But I think the game was Samardzija. He kept us off-balance, throwing a 93, 94 mph fastball and he had his split going. There were a couple times he threw it four and five times in a row, and we had no chance on it, especially to left-handed hitters. The eighth inning, their defense made some heck of a plays to get them out of a possible jam. All of a sudden, it may be first and second with nobody out, [then] it’s inning over. It’s just the way it goes right now.”
On Hanson giving up big hits on first-pitch and whether Gonzalez likes the aggressiveness
“Yeah and you know what, those pitches came back over the plate. They were breaking balls and we were trying to back-door them and they came back over the plate. After he gave up a double to Valbuena, he pitched out of a jam, and it was nice to see. He didn’t give up any more runs after that. In an inning where I think he ended up throwing almost 20 pitches that inning. It was nice to see him get out of that jam after he gave up three runs.”
On not getting shutdown innings (after Braves score)
“They’re big. All of a sudden we get the momentum going and tie the game up and all of a sudden we get two hits in a row and let them back in. Those are big swings during the course of the game, for me, no matter what inning it is. Obviously later in the game it’s more of a mental shift but early in a game if you shut a team down right away, it’s big and we haven’t been able to do that on a consistent basis.”
Given his poor numbers in June, was tonight more indicative of Samardzija?
“I’ve seen him twice this year and this is what he’s done to us really. He’s 94, 95 mph fastball with a good split and he commanded it today. I think the last time we faced him in Chicago this year, he was the same way. I saw those numbers this morning when I came in, and I was like ‘This is not the same guy that we’ve seen earlier in the year.’ He proved he was better than those numbers show today.”