on Minor’s performance
“Well, finally we got him some run support. [Joking, fighting to keep straight face.] What else do you want, for God’s sake. You want any more than that?
“He pitched great. He really did. In that seventh inning, boy, I tell you what. You see the maturity, great pitches. He was outstanding. You’ve got to tip your cap to him.”
On the offense
“We only scored one run, but I felt like we swung the bats well. We hit some balls right on the nose, right at people. Heyward [with runners] at first and third, two outs, ball right down the line there, rocket to the first baseman. Danny [Uggla] with the line drive to left. We swung the bats. Even Chipper’s double-play ball, I thought he hit it well up the middle and the guy made a turn on it. So…
“We get a run on an error, but we’ll take it right now.”
On bringing in Kimbrel with two out in eighth
“He hasn’t pitched, and it was the right situation. I don’t know how often we could do that. I know the last time we did it was April 2011. If he pitches in normal save situations where he gets two, three, four saves a week, it’s hard to do that. Because I think he ended up with 29, 30 pitches. But if it’s there and we have it there on a double-switch or something that we could do it with, we’ll take advantage of that. It all depends on the workload coming into that situation.”
On Minor in first inning, getting the groundout after back-to-back walks
“He gets two quick outs, then walks the next two. He got the hamster back on the wheel and he got him going. He pitched great. These guys are second in the league in batting average. They’re not schleppers out there, and we’ve had some pretty good ballgames pitched against them. With Tommy yesterday and Mike Minor, and obviously Medlen. But they swing the bat. They scare you a little bit.”
On O’Flaherty strikeout of Carlos Gonzalez with 2 on in 8th
“For me that’s the game. He doesn’t get Gonzo there, now it’s one out, and now you can’t bring in Kimbrel for five outs, that’s a tough situation. Or you let O’Flaherty face the next hitter, Pacheco, or bring in Gearrin to face him. That was a big out.”
On Freeman’s hard slide to help break up double play (throwing error let in run)
“It was a routine double play, but Freddie went in there hard. He went in hard and went in late, and maybe Rutledge got a little excited seeing Freeman come in bearing down on him. And he threw it away. You don’t see that in the boxcore the next day.”
Heyward’s ninth-inning leadoff bunt single, he do it on his own?
“Yeah, that was him. And you know what? I encourage it, because they were playing back and playing him over, and here’s a guy who can steal second. Not a base-clogger by any means. If he starts doing that, they’re going to have to start playing him a little different defensively and it’ll open up some more holes for him.”
On his no-hitter through six innings
“Just one of those nights where I had a lot of pitches [80 through five innings]. I didn’t even feel like I was throwing that great, then I looked back – I actually didn’t know until the fifth – I looked back and saw no hits. Because of a couple of walks, a couple of hard hits, I didn’t really feel like I was throwing that great.”
So how do you characterize it if it wasn’t one of your best starts?
“Kind of just dodged them, I guess. To me it wasn’t one of my best starts, but like you said, on paper it looks good. I just got lucky enough. They had a couple of guys on and I got out of it again. My walks didn’t hurt me this time. I didn’t give up a home run; that’s always good. I just kindof dodged them.”
On striking out LeMahieu with fastball with two on to end seventh
“I just felt like he needed to beat me with my best pitch, and tonight I felt like that was my fastball. I didn’t want to throw him something off-speed and him get some kind of base hit or miss it and they score a run and tie the game up. I guess that was my mindset. I didn’t want to 3-2. At 2-2, I wanted to challenge him and throw a fastball.”
On getting out of a couple of jams with multiple runners on
“I’ve said before, I don’t stress out too much when I get runners on anymore. Earlier in the year I might tell myself, ‘don’t do this’ or ‘don’t do that.’ Now it’s like, ‘do this.’ I have more confidence when I throw a pitch, because I’ve been there plenty of times this year.”
What did you think when Kimbrel entered in the eighth?
“I thought it was awesome for us, because that’s our best pitcher. To come in and get an out there, then come out the next inning and shut ‘em down, I thought it was a good move. But obviously he’s going to be a little more tired because he’s not used to it.”
What can you do better?
“Throw more breaking pitches for strikes. I threw a lot of balls out of the zone that weren’t competitive. You can always work on that, and each time out you just want to throw more strikes and attack hitters with all your pitches, instead of just a couple.”
Was it fun coming in during the eighth, to get more than three outs?
“Of course it was fun. I’ve been wanting to do that all year. Whenever I have to come in and do my job and help the team win, I’m ready to do it.”
Did you mention it to anyone, that you were ready and would go in during eighth if needed?
“No, it was one of those things — ‘Hey, get ready.’ So I got up, got ready and went in the game.”
When did you get the call?
“Well, we knew if that situation came around, I’d go in. And the situation came up. I got up after the first guy got on, and started getting ready.”
So if Pacheco came up, you were going in?
“Yeah. The situation came.”
Only third time you’ve come in to pitch more than an inning
“It’s a little different, but something I could definitely get used to.”
On Minor’s progress since beginning of season
“He’s turned the page. He’s become a completely different pitcher. He’s attacking guys, he’s going right at them. Doesn’t seem as timid out there on the mound. Seems like he’s more in control when he’s out there, and you’ve seen it with his outings. He’s really become a better pitcher.”
On O’Flaherty’s strikeout of Carlos Gonzalez with two on for second out in eighth
“He’s the heavy hitter on that team, so for him to strike him out, that was huge.”
On team scoring 1 run, enough for Minor and ‘pen tonight
“Yeah, sometimes just enough is enough. Mike and ‘O’ and Kimbrel, they held it down for us. We’ve been struggling with runners in scoring position lately, but through a season you have streaks where it happens like that. At the time we’re still getting wins while it’s happening. So when we break out of it, we’ll really be on a roll.”
“I don’t care. We got a W. I don’t care how we get it. It can look pretty, it can look ugly, whatever. However people look at it, it counts as a win. Gives us a chance to try and win a series tomorrow.”
On the RISP hitting dearth
“You can’t dwell on it or get down on it. You’ve just to keep swinging the bats. The only way to break out of it is to keep hitting. We’ll keep swinging, man. We’ve got the talent and the bats to do it. The people in our lineup, when we get going and we get hot, we score in bunches.”
On Minor’s progress
“He’s a hard worker. Whatever you put in is what you get out, for the most part. He put in his work. He does what he does to try to be the best he can be. I know he wants to do whatever he can to try to help the team win, like everybody else in here. He did that tonight, hands-down. And the bullpen came in and backed him up. One run was enough for us to win. We can’t say nothing about that but ‘thank you.’”