On having Delgado start seventh, then pulling him after leadoff double
“He pitched pretty good. Gave up three runs, scattered some hits, got out of some jams. You want to see how far you can take him. Leadoff double, then you try and match up the rest of that inning and they put up a 2-spot there. But most nights [allowing] three runs is pretty good to win a ballgame, really. We just didn’t … we got one run, hit into a couple of double plays. One double play in particular with the bases loaded. We just couldn’t get him any run support.”
On game being winnable until the wild pitch and homer off Venters
“Absolutely. Winnable ballgame. You feel pretty good that you can win a one-run ballgame at any time. You try to match up and they just got two runs [off Venters], a slider wild pitch and a slider to Baker on the home run. They score two, then they added on with Rizzo’s home run off of Varvaro, and then we just couldn’t do anything offensively.”
We keep asking about Venters, you keep saying he’s progressing, how long can you go like this? Been two months…
“Well, you’ve got to feel like you have confidence in the young man and you feel like you see some good outings [like] last night. You feel like yo can get him over the hump, put him in situations where you think he’s going to be successful, and then keep going forward. If we don’t get him right, and I’m not even talking about last year right, just a good left-handed arm out of the bullpen, we’re going to be up against it. We’ll keep working. He’s got a good frame of mind, and he’s working with Roger. And we’ll keep going.”
Ever seen Soriano make a throw that good?
“Yeah. He’s a little unorthodox. If you look at some of his past years, he leads the league in assists, or he’s up there almost every year. Some of that is because they challenge him; he’s a guy who was converted from second base to the outfield, and they challenge him. He’s a little unorthodox but he gets it there, and he’s pretty accurate. That’s a big play. That [throw] looked like it started at the first-base dugout and then it came back, and you couldn’t have put it in there any better.”
On Heyward’s upper-side issue on last at-bat
“It was on the swing, and we’re hoping it was just a cramp. He kept saying it was a cramp, then he stole second base, so hopefully it was nothing more than that. We’ll evaluate it tomorrow.”
“He said it’s up high and I feel good, I want to stay in. He said it felt like it was just a cramp, not the old dreaded oblique.”
On getting guys on base and not getting runs in, continuing pattern
“We get a couple of guys [on base] and just don’t keep the line moving. I think it was the first inning we get the bases loaded, one out, and Freddie hit a rocket up the middle and Castro was standing right there and they’re out of the inning. We hit the ball hard a few times and just didn’t get anything for it.”
On getting runners on base but not scoring
“Freddie hit the ball hard, they just happened to playing a shift where the dude was up the middle. So it was an easy double play for them once that happened.”
“D-Ross hit the ball hard, too, and Soriano made a good throw. Nothing you can fault about that. Sometimes you meet a team that’s playing good baseball, and that’s what’s happening right now. They had won four in a row before last night. We just exploded last night. We had a chance tonight, too, but we hit the ball right at them. But breaks will fall our way. We have to keep on trying to fight against them. They’re playing good right now. They got good pitching and they’re finishing games.”
On it being a winnable game until the two-run seventh
“We feel like we can win until there’s 27 outs. That’s just how it is. They have a couple of different players that’s playing pretty good for them right now. Their first baseman [Rizzo] is hitting the ball well for them; he had two or three hits today. I think I took out one at the track.
“But you can’t fault anybody over here, I don’t think. Randall pitched a real good game. They scored, but we weren’t just giving it to them; they were earning it. We want to win every game, but the best we can do now is split the series with them.”
Delgado seems to get no run support, especially at home where he’s pitched well
“I know, man. That’s a hard draw for him. He continues to pitch well. He throws the ball hard and has good pitches; I can tell that they don’t see the ball well off of him. So hat’s off to him. But we didn’t get the W tonight, so everything is falling on us when that happens.”
On trying to bunt with two out and none on in the seventh, when he was homer shy of cycle
“I knew [needed a homer for the cycle], but at the same time we’re down three runs. What would it look like if I went up there trying to hit a home run going for the cycle? Now if we’re up four runs, I don’t have a problem with it. It’d be different. But we’re down three. I’m not worried about trying to hit for the cycle right there. That ain’t the place at that time. I’m trying to get something started. I had it open where I wanted to, I just bunted it right where I didn’t need to bunt it. I saw the first baseman and second baseman playing me back a little bit, so I was going to try to take advantage of that. I felt like I made the right play, but just didn’t get the bunt where I was supposed to get it.”
On seeing the runner he left on base score after he left the game
“I felt like I left that changeup up in the zone and he hit it [for leadoff double in seventh]. I’m thinking that they hit the ball at the right time. It was a little bit tougher than normal. I was trying to get through the seventh inning and couldn’t, so….”
On not getting much run support, is it frustrating or just part of the game?
“All the time in my mind, I think that’s part of the game. Nobody can control that. It’s not a problem. I’m just trying to do my job, and that’s it.”
On soreness in his side batting in ninth inning
“It just cramped up. I was excited during that at-bat. Sweated a lot tonight. I’ve been hydrating; the whole homestand it’s been hot. Today it was just more humid. But it’s calmed down now. Just going to ice it, stretch it, rest and come back tomorrow ready to play baseball.”
You can tell it’s not a muscle problem then, just a cramp?
“Oh yeah, I can tell it’s not a strain, nothing like that to be worried about at all. Just cramping, playing a lot of baseball.”
On having some chances vs. Maholm but not cashing in
“Yeah, we hit some balls hard, hit some balls well and had some base hits against him. Put him in some situations where he needed to make great pitches, and it seemed like he made them. Tip your hat to him, tip your hat to their defense, and they swung the bat. A team outscores you, they won the game.”