Team feed off the crowd?
“I thought they fed off the crowd a little bit, and I thought they fed off of Medlen. They really like playing behind him and the way he goes about his business.”
On having extra players to use on expanded roster in September
“I’m not a real proponent of September call-ups or having 35 guys on the bench, but it helped us today. I’m the first one to say, hey, limit it to 29 or 30. But we took advantage of it today, getting the matchups we wanted.”
On taking wins any way can get them
“We’ll take it. You know what keep putting people on base and something’s going to break. We got 10 hits today, hit the ball hard, had some people on base. We’ll take it. We had a sac fly RBI by Simmons, whatever it takes.”
On Kimbrel striking out the side on 10 pitches in the ninth
“He wasted one pitch too many.” [laughter].
“He feeds off the crowd, too. It was nice to see.”
On setting a career high for strikeouts
“I knew I had a bunch of two-strike counts. I didn’t necessarily know it was that many…. Enough about me. That was a huge win for us, especially against our division rival. A 1-1 game, pitched well from both sides, and our guys battled till the end.”
On the eight strikeouts looking, what was working there?
“My two-seamer felt great tonight. Ones to the lefties really came back for me. Even the couple of them I threw to righties kind of froze them. I don’t know, just one of those nights where everything kind of felt like it was working for me. You go through an entire outing and make just one pitch that you regret throwing, just the worst pitch of the night.” [to Harper]
“I couldn’t even believe he hit that ball where he hit it. It was an unbelievable swing, and you see what the guy’s as good as he is. I made a mistake and he made me pay for it. But came out on top again.”
What was the pitch and where?
“Hanging curveball, up and away. And he tomahawked it into left-center. Like I said, unbelievable piece of hitting, horrible pitch.”
On the crowd
“It was a great crowd. Awesome.”
And then Kimbrel…
“Does his thing. God, he was fired up. That’s what Craig does. He saw how many strikeouts I had, and I heard he was a little jealous in the bullpen room.” [laughter]
“I just hope I finish the season with more strikeouts than him. That’s all I want.”
On it being a big game
“You try not to get too high. You have your gameplan that you’ve talked about, with Rossy this time, and we executed it. We knew what we wanted to do and we just kind of mixed the fastball in to lefties, the change-ups away…it just all worked out.”
On the team winning 20 consecutive starts by Medlen
“It’s something you strive for, to go out and win games. If they’re winning when I’m on the mound, keep running me out there. It’s something I’ve taken pride in my entire life, just winning games, winning no matter what. It’s just worked out that way. I don’t know what it is about me on the mound, but I mean, one of my last starts against Florida in 2010, I gave up five in six innings and we still won the game. So it’s not like I’m throwing zeroes up there all the time.
“They go to battle for me because they know I’ll go to battle for them.”
On Pastornicky’s game-ending groundball
“You don’t really think the game’s going to end that way, especially the way the game was going – really good defense, really good pitching for both sides. We’ll take it.”
On the grounder to Desmond that ended the game on E6 throw home
“It’s obviously not what I was trying to do, but it all worked out in the end. A win always feels great, especially against those guys.”
And teammates mobbed you afterward
“Yeah, just like I hit a homer. Oh, man, it’s awesome to get to be a part of that, especially the way this year’s gone for me.”
On pitching they’re getting from Medlen, Kimbrel
“Oh, man, it’s unbelievable. It’s fun to watch, that’s for sure, and I’m glad they’re on our team and not facing us.”
On a walk-off win
“It’s the best adrenaline rush you can get. That’s what we all play for.”
On the game-ending error
“I didn’t know if they were going to try to turn two, so I was trying to get down the line just in case. I didn’t know [he scored] until I hit the bag and everybody was running [from the dugout].”
“It’s a big series for us, and to win it like that, hopefully we can take that momentum and keep it going. Having the crowd behind us and and a good atmosphere like we had tonight, it’s big.”
On his ninth-inning single
“Just trying to put the ball in play. Trying to get [Simmons] over some kind of way, a little base hit or do something at the plate. Simmons started it off…. They were actually playing no doubles on Simmons. Zim was on the line, and when he got it past that hole I knew he had a hit. Then he went from first to third on my ball.
“Pastornicky was able to make [Desmond] rush. With Simmons’ speed, you can’t just play it easy. It was a little bit too his left, and he had to try to make a difficult throw. It got by the catcher and that’s it, we won.”
On watching Medlen from dugout (Bourn was out of lineup tonight, entered game in 7th)
“Well, I actually have a better perspective when I’m behind him [playing center field] because I can see the ball and see what he’s doing. But he’s hard to figure out, man. I think the best thing about him is he’s smart. He was once a position player before, so he has a feel for what a hitter’s doing and what he’s trying to do. If you watch him, he doesn’t just go off of his stuff. He watches what the hitter’s doing.
“I told him once before, ‘You’re smart,’ and he kind of just walked off like, ‘What?’ I said, ‘You’re smart, man.’ I think your best pitchers are really intelligent. They don’t just go with their stuff, they think it through as the game goes on.”