On the 8-2 homestand
“We really played well. The pitchers did a terrific job, starting pitching and the bullpen. Off the top of the my head, there were a bunch of games where we only allowed one or two runs.
“Medlen did a terrific job today. We got him as far as we wanted to. He threw  pitches last time and what was it, 80 this time? ”
On the game
“It was good all-around. For me a couple of keys in this game were Jonny coming in [with runners at] second and third and getting those guys out, and then Luis [Avilan] coming in and getting Wallace with the strikeout with people on base. And offensively I thought Yonny [Paul Janish] did a terrific job, getting the two runs to add on there. Rossy with the solo home run, it seems like every time we play him he comes up with a big hit or a big blast.”
“He was tough. And even last night, Harrell pitched really well. I’m thinking, where has our offense gone, but you look back and you see Norris pitching the way he did, and [Harrell] the night before. They’ve got a decent little pitching staff, for the future anyway.”
On Janish’s two-RBI, two-out hit
“That was the turning point of the game. We were up one-run, it’s a 2-1 game after the wild pitch, and for him to come up and add on was big.”
“And we were able to add on late in the game and not use O’Flaherty or Kimbrel.”
On the homestand, staying with Nationals when they keep winning
“Yeah, we’ve got to keep winning. We’ve got six more games against them, a series there and a series back here. We’ve got to keep winning, keep it there within two games, because it seems like they’re going to keep winning, and they’re pulling out games. I saw the end of last night’s game, the way they won. Sometimes you get in those streaks. But we’ve got to take care of our business and what’s in front of us. Hopefully stay within striking distance, a game or two, and hopefully when we play those guys try to do some damage then.”
On being able to pluy in a guy like Ross and not miss too much with McCann out of lineup
“There not too many teams that can do that in the major leagues. That you take out your fourth hitter or middle-of-the-lineup hitter and stick another guy in there and not lose a beat.”
“He may be the best player I’ve ever seen. And I saw him play, what is he now, 40? I saw him at 39 and 40, and at 34, 35 before that. I didn’t get to see him when he was 23, 24.
“Everything — hits, runs, fields, instincts.”
Laughs. “Maybe we can talk him out of retirement. But he’s got to take serious paycut.”
On 8-2 homestand
“I think the difference between us this year and us in the past couple of years is, we’re beating teams we should beat. Obviously they’re big-league teams and they can battle you any given day. But the fact that we’re buckling down and really focusing and beating the teams we feel we should beat is the biggest difference so far. Obviously the Nats are still giving us some trouble, but we’ve just got to keep battling. There’s a lot of games left.”
On throwing a season-high 79 pitches
“I had to mentally kind off make sure I went throug my checklist of my delivery and all that. When you’re feeling energetic early in the game, you don’t really have to think about all that, because you have energy and all that. But toward the end, I got up in pitch count. I battled through it, got a well-placed groundball.”
So you weren’t angry about being replaced at that point?
“Not that I wasn’t angry; or course I want to stay in there and get another groundball, get another double-play ball. It’s the competitor in me – you want to stay in and get outs and go deep in games. Obviously if I had more pitches in whatever pitch count they had for me today, if I’d have had 100 I think I could have gotten through that inning. But it is what it is. The bullpen did a great job today coming in and finishing the sixth and then closing out all the way through the ninth.”
How much fun are you having starting again?
“It’s so much fun. I don’t have the nerves that I had before [when he was a starter in past years]. I feel really confident with Mac and Rossy behind the plate. We execute the gameplan and I think if we do that, we’re going to win games when I pitch. I have that kind of confidence, and the offense is playing real well too.”
Trying to give them something to think about when they have to make a decision on rotation?
“Wherever I am. When Tommy comes back if I go back to the ‘pen, I’m going to help just as much. It hasn’t change my mindset at all. I know the situation. I know what I can do personally, and if there had to be one person on the pitching staff who had to go back and forth, I would pick me. I just think I’m mentally strong enough, and I’ve been through it before. I don’t know. I’m excited and I’m glad we’re winning.”
On playing his last game against the Astros
“It’s hard because they were a rival of ours for so long. But to be honest with you, I’m just focused in on what the mission is today. And I didn’t pay it much mind after about the first inning. But now that you guys bring it to my attention, it is a little sad to know that I won’t play the Astros anymore.”
On how he’s playing, and how much lately
“I feel good and I’m swinging the bat well and producing. I think it’s important that I try to be in there as much as possible. I think as we come down the stretch, it’s important to give me some rest before we get to September. Because once we get to September it’s all hands on deck, just like it was last year. We’ll be playing playoff baseball for the last couple or three weeks of the season and it’ll be important that I’m rested up and healthy.”
On winning eight of 10 on the homestand, as he said they needed to beforehand
“It was big. We gained one or two games during this 10-game span. Now it’s important for us to take care of business on the road. Don’t worry about going out and sweeping everybody, just win series. I think if we go 4-2 most of us will be pretty happy with that, especially within the division. If you want to win this division you’ve got to win within this division. We’re doing a lot better job of that lately.”
On winning eight of 10 and keeping it going
“As soon as you take your foot off the gas, you’re looking at something like last year. So we try to stay focused on each game. This is a good team, a major league team. I know we’re supposed to beat them, but they pitched really good the last two days and we’re lucky to get out of here with a win. We had some guys get key hits and that’s what good teams do.”
On impact of Medlen’s two starts
“It’s humongous. He’s one of my favorite pitchers to catch on the staff, just because of how he commands his pitches and I can call any pitch at any time. He’s a lot of fun to catch. He doesn’t back off at any time. He’s never scared, he’s never afraid to throw any pitch. You call a pitch, he’s going to throw it to the best of his ability. And that’s fun, for a catcher to know that a guy has that much confidence in you to throw what you put down.”
On playing well when McCann’s out of the lineup
“I want to win and I don’t want to let the team down when Mac’s bat’s not in there. He’s been hitting a lot of home runs lately, so it was nice to add one of those for myself. He’s been doing a great job lately. I feel like we win just about every time he catches. It’s my job just to give him a breather on these hot days; I don’t want him losing five pounds on a day like today. So it was nice and he can go get ‘em in Philly.”
On the 8-2 homestand
“That’s huge. We did what we’re supposed to do, but like I said earlier, if you start looking ahead and say we should sweep these guys…you’ve got to play each game alone, by itself, concentrate on each at-bat. If you can bring things down to at-bats, small victories, next thing you know you’re in September with a good record. So that’s what we need to stay focused on, winning at-bats, winning the battle as pitchers and catchers. If you can break it down small, at the end of the year we’ll be really good.”
On the 8-2 homestand
“Anytime you can go 8-2 it’s good, but at home especially, kind of setting the precedent. We had the Phillies early, then the Marlins, then kind of took care of business with the Astros. So it was good too have a good homestand, now we’ve got a tough road trip, hopefully get that started on the right foot tomorrow.”
You’re in there for your glove, but how nice is it to come through big like you did today with the hit?
“I mean, it’s huge. Obviously my priority is defense and I take a lot of pride in it. But at the same time, especially in circumstances like that, when a [pitcher] is having a good day and we finally get something going, to be able to cash in on it, it’s big for a lot of reasons, emotionally for the team as well.”
On coming aboard with Braves are playing their best ball
“It’s been great. Ever since I’ve been here for the past three weeks, the team’s been playing well. There’s no doubt about it, this time of the year every game is important. It’s been good that the team’s playing well, and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”