Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field.
On difference in Tim Hudson after 25-pitch first inning: “I saw him settle down. I really did. I thought he got stronger as the game progressed. I thought it was one of those crazy games where we kept letting them hang around and hang around. I thought it was going to come around and bite us a little bit. [Eric] O’Flaherty did a terrific job [in relief of Hudson]. Huddy did a hell of a job battling through that stuff. And then [Craig] Kimbrel shut the door. We only got six hits but we walked eight times. We were patient with [Astros starter Armando] Galarraga. He wiggled out of a few jams himself. We could have used a couple more runs but didn’t get them. It didn’t come back and bite us.”
On importance of Hudson giving bullpen a break: “It gave the bullpen some much needed rest. It really did. We were trying to push him as far as we could take him. I think whether, talking to Roger [McDowell] had [Ben Francisco] gotten on, he would have been his last batter anyway. He was 116 pitches. I don’t think we’ve touched that with him all year. But he did a terrific job, not only getting the win but freshening up the bullpen a little bit.”
On trying to talk Chipper into not retiring: “He got a big two-run double. [Martin] Prado had an off day yesterday and it helped him. He got two doubles. Dan [Uggla] got an RBI double. It counts. The way he’s been going we’ll take it. Hopefully that will get him going.”
On words between Prado and Galaragga: “I don’t know. At first I thought the was yelling at the umpire. Just a couple guys in the sandbox. Boys will be boys, that’s all.”
On it appearing Galaragga was taking his time delivering to plate: “Again, I was kind of laughing at it because I thought he was yelling at the umpire or the catcher. I don’t know how Prado got in the middle of it.”
On getting two doubles after day off: “It’s hard for me to understand that after a day off the next day [I got two hits]. I understand that sometimes we need a rest. We play so hard every day. I guess the body just breaks down a little bit. I felt pretty good today. My body was recharged today. I’m hoping that I can just go all the way through to the end.”
On the words with Galarraga: “It was a misunderstanding. He was trying to do his thing. I heard something that I probably couldn’t understand because I was so locked in my at-bat. I’m a good friend with him. It is what it is. When we play between those lines we were just battling. He was just trying to get me out. I was trying to get a hit in that situation. Nothing major.
On whether Galarraga was taking too long to come to plate: “He was trying to figure out what pitch he was going to use in that count. I was so locked in in that at-bat I probably heard something else. Nothing major.
On Hudson’s performance: “That’s what we expect every time he pitches. That’s what we expect. He is so intense every time he pitches, even before the game he gets fired up. It’s kind of contagious. Everybody knows he is going to bring it. That’s what he does every time he takes the mound.”
On the difference after the 25-pitch first inning: “It’s just one of those things were they took some pitches and got me behind in the count a little bit. I had to work a little bit to get out of it. I was able to have a couple shorter innings later on. Any time I have an inning like that, when I throw 20, 30 pitches, I hope to have a single-digit pitch inning at some point, try to get back those pitches. I was able to do that. The guys were playing some good defense behind me. I was trying to keep those guys in the game, throw strikes and let them put it in play.”
On whether he was ready to come out after 116 pitches: “I wasn’t too bad. I’m glad I was able to go out there and pitch into the eighth and get my pitch count up a little bit. A lot of my games this year I’ve been pretty efficient. There are going to be times when I go five or six innings and have 110 pitches. Tonight was a game where I was able, almost from a conditioning standpoint, get up there and work and try to make some pitches with a high pitch count for a change. Obviously, I want to have as many low pitch count games as I can but at some point later this year, probably in games that mean something, I’m going to have to make some pitches when I’m tired. That was a good test.”
On Chipper Jones: “I don’t think he’s human. I think he’s a machine. He’s a damn good ball player.”
On trying to save the bullpen: “You are aware of it but honestly every game I try to go as deep as I can. If I don’t get into the seventh inning, I don’t feel like I’ve done my job. Anything after that is a cherry on top. After the first inning my pitch count was kind of high and it wasn’t looking like I was going to be able to go terribly deep in the game. I was able to have some quicker innings. A nice lead helps out too. I am able to go up there and hit for myself and have three at-bats. A lot of time the game dictates me getting pinch-hit for that throws another inning on your bullpen. The leads always help. When you have a lead the manager can let you go up there and get a third at-bat and try to squeak out another inning or two.”
- Chris Vivlamore