On the game
“Great team win, crazy win, especially the way those first two innings started. We kicked the ball around, really that second inning. I thought Tommy did a great job the next three innings settling down. I thought his last two innings might have been his best two innings of the game. He kept his head and kept us in the ballgame and we just kept scoring some runs. Freeman had a great night offensively and Danny with the double. And we win a ball game on a hit by pitch. It seems like we’ve been winning some ballgames in crazy ways, but we’ll take it. Sometimes you lose in crazy ways also.”
On if Hanson just missing early on
“I thought so. I didn’t see anything glaring other than he gave up a two-run homer to Rochy. And then we that second inning we kind of played Bad News Bear baseball and luckily only gave up two runs. But the guys spirits stayed in there, in the fight. We kept crawling back, crawling back, and we ended up winning.”
On the call at first base that went the Braves’ way
“I haven’t seen it, if he was off the bag, on the bag, so I can’t comment on that right now.”
You think Freeman’s error fired him up?
“Probably. He takes a lot of pride in his defense, he really does. And I think he’s one of the best ones in the league. And maybe that embarrassed him a little bit. I don’t think my gut could take that type of embarrassment for his bat to get going but whatever it takes. Good for him that he stayed in the fight.”
On Boscan’s error in ninth
“Well you’ve got a guy there he can run. We know exactly that’s what he’s here for, Perez. You’ve got to get him some guts for them to steal the bag there. And it did and we threw it away and now we got a man on third base and anything can happen. A wild pitch ties the game but Craig has been pretty good. He’s been nails.”
On going more than one inning with Venters
“Gut feeling. And earlier that inning we’ve used him before. I think he’s pitched in the sixth when he was coming back from his arm thing. We were just trying to match up a little bit. Jonny’s got some pretty good success against that part of the order and we were trying to optimize that.”
On winning three in a row vs. Nats (two this series)
“It’s important because our eyes are still on trying to get the division because the wild card is so hard and so difficult with the one-game playoff. But at the very least if we don’t catch them because they’ve got a good club you could hang your hat, and say, we may meet them after the first round, the play-in playoff game. if it ends right now, we’d play them. and it’s always good to play good with your opponent the last time you’ve seen them.”
On McCann’s status
“It’s a right hamstring tendinitis right behind the right knee. Couldn’t tell you what happened, when it happened. But it’s been bothering him and obviously a big game like this he doesn’t want to come out of the game. But Rossy did a terrific job getting those relievers through that game. You forget about those guys sometimes. They threw four scoreless innings after Tommy left, and through some tough times. Avilan was a big out there in the seventh, first and third with two outs and Harper. That was a big out.”
McCann’s injury happen before Saturday’s game?
“I don’t know exactly when he aggravated or if it was a couple days ago. We’re going to go day to day, hopefully Monday or Tuesday he could crank it up again.”
On his second-inning error
“It was unfortunate. It led to two runs. I came up right after that, so I wanted to get things started. I was lucky to get one down the line.”
On coming back from a 4-0 deficit
“Definitely against these guys, who want to bury us every time they play us, it was a big win. We were able to come back and get some runs, get closer and get the big home run [from Heyward] to tie us up. And Tommy battled. We didn’t really help him out much in the first two innings.”
You feel like y’all still have a shot at winning the division?
“Have they won the division yet? No, they haven’t. So obviously we do.”
On beating the Nationals three in a row, twice in this series, good for confidence going into postseason?
“Obviously. This is the No. 1 team in the National League and we’re playing them tough. We’ve beat them twice now and we have a chance to sweep them tomorrow. Hopefully we can get a good pitching performance and put some runs on the board.”
Were you thinking cycle after getting the homer, triple and single?
“Obviously. I’ve never had one of those before. I got a pitch to hit and I just got under it a little bit.”
On the win
“Huge win, team win, way to come out and battle back against the best team in the game. They jumped ahead of us, we hung in there. Tommy didn’t give up. He kept them right there, and the bullpen did a great job as well. Our defense woke up and we just did what we could at the plate, stayed patient and got some big hits.”
On his recent homers, this one a big one
“Big hits are what’s going to make it the easiest way to get it done this time of year. It’s not always going to happen, but most definitely when you’re able to tie the game with a two-run homer it puts a lot of pressure on the other team to try to answer back. We just kind of got some momentum back our way, and it was good to hold onto it.”
Does this make winning the division seem more realistic?
“Winning this series makes it more realistic. Our mindset is to go after the division [title] until you can’t. That’s the way you have to look at it. You don’t settle for anything until time is up. Right now we’ve got a chance to win the division still. We’ve got to keep playing good baseball, we’ve got to keep hanging in there, and everything else will take care of itself.”
On importance of this series after getting swept at Milwaukee
“At this point in the year it’s a playoff atmosphere and you’re going to have to find ways to win. Any way you can do it, whether it’s ugly, pretty, it doesn’t matter. It’s huge to win two games after losing three in a row [at Milwaukee], because you don’t want to let other teams gain ground on you that are behind you, and you would like to gain some ground on this team that’s in front of you.”
Get a feeling you can beat this team now?
“It’s a really good team, obviously. Best record in the game. I feel like the last few times we’ve played them we’ve done better. We’ve taken strides, just tried to keep battling them. This team has had success against us over the past few years, regardless of where they’ve been in the standings. So we’re trying to hang in there, make adjustments, stay in the games. They got up big on us one time in D.C. and we were able to hang in there and win that game.
“You look at it and say it would have been nice to win that series, but to go in somebody’s house and play four games, it’s nice to take two at least.”
On the win
“To beat them two games in a row and have a chance for the sweep tomorrow is awesome. They’re obviously in our division and a rival or ours. So these last two wins have been huge.”
On the one pitch to LaRoche and the ugly second inning
“Yeah, that was not a fun second inning at all. But yeah, I left a pitch up to Jayson Werth [leadoff single in first inning], got a couple of punchouts, then an 0-1 curveball to LaRoche that he hit out. Then the second inning was a debacle. I start out the inning striking the guy out, then walked a guy, had him 0-2 and thought he laid off some pretty good pitches. Then the next guy, the ground ball to Freddie that was misplayed, and then the bunt where I ate up a bunch of grass and then decided to throw it into right field.
“So it wasn’t getting easy getting through that inning, but after that I felt pretty good and felt good with all my pitches, until the time came where we needed to get a hitter in there. We’re down by three runs and I’m hitting 0-20 whatever, we need to get someone in there that can swing the bat.”
More on his error, after he fielded bunt and slipped
“I probably should have held the ball there, but I threw it and it wasn’t a good throw.”
– Quotes compiled by Carroll Rogers and David O’Brien