“That’s a really good lineup. He kept them off-balance for most of the day. The only run he gave up was his own fault; at least I don’t get any blame for that.” [laughter]
On Hudson having a big game after some recent inconsistency
“You know, Huddy’s that guy that when the lights are shining brightest, he brings his ‘A’ game. I like my chances with him on the mound against anybody anytime. I know he’s going to go out there and give me everything he has that day, and he’s going to fight and claw tooth and nail to try to win, to try to get their hitters out. I can go to battle with teammates like that any day of the week.”
On taking two out of three from Phillies team that came in hot and was in a must-win situation
“I didn’t know how they were playing. But we came in here – we’re a good team. They’re a good team, we’re a good team. We battled, had some good at-bats early on yesterday from, like, Freeman and Chipper, two-out knocks. Against Roy Halladay yesterday, and today jumped on Cliff Lee early before he got comfortable. That’s what you’ve got to do with the good ones. With the good pitchers, if you score early – the teams that beat Huddy usually get to him early. So it was nice to get to [Lee] early and have good at-bats.”
“I thought we did a good job today, and our bullpen’s really good. And it was tough to see [for hitters]. It was a lot of fun catching today.”
On position in postseason picture
“We’re kind of in the middle ground. We feel like we’ve got the wild-card secured and are going to make the playoffs, but yet the division – it’s a little out of reach, but yet we’re still fighting for it. So we’re kind of in in limbo. We’re waiting for something to happen and just relax a little bit. We want to be playing good going in, so that’s the key.
“We want to rest the right guys and get ready, but in my opinion, I just saw where Milwaukee took the lead… It’s 4-1/2 [Braves behind Washington in division] and they’ve got a tough schedule. I think our eyes are still on the division. If that’s a lofty goal, that’s fine by me. But the key for us, if we get to playing good, we feel like we can play with anybody anytime.”
On his sinker and the outing
“I had a good two-seamer going, locating it pretty well. Especially off the opposite-arm side. I was able to stay on the pitch and had good action on it. It was a fun day for me. It’s the time of the year where you want to clean up your delivery and start making better pitches and start making crisper pitches in certain situations. Today was a day where I was able to go out there and I felt pretty confident with my off-speed and my sinker down in the zone.
“I’ll have one or two more starts before we hopefully get into the playoffs and they really start counting.”
On getting 16th win despite missing first month of season
“A lot of that credit has to go to the guys behind me. They’ve been awesome all year behind me, scoring runs, the bullpen has hardly given up a run on the days that I’ve pitched…. They’ve probably been a lot better than I’ve been on the mound, but I’m benefiting with some wins because some guys have stepped up pretty good behind me.”
On not hesitating to go to third on the double and E8
“After rounding second I definitely realized I wasn’t as young as I used to be. Then it hit me that there were two outs, after about five steps around second. Yeah, it wasn’t cool. But I was safe.
“It was a good ready on my part, though. [Sarcasm.] I saw the third baseman’s eyes and I read where the ball was coming. I was like, I’ve got to run over here so the ball will hit me and I’ll be safe.”
On today’s win and the series win
“It’s really big for us. Today was a huge win. Capped off a really good road trip for us. These guys are still fighting to get in the playoffs, and we were able to come in and beat a great pitcher today. It was a well-pitched game from both sides. He threw the ball well and really settled in nicely. What, was there one earned run in the whole game? It was one of those things where we were able to scrap and get just enough to win.”
On his performance after some inconsistent ones lately
“Coming into today, I mean, I haven’t been happy with some of the results that I’ve had. Especially some of the one-inning debacles that I’ve had. Those are things that you can’t allow to happen during the postseason. One tough inning will cost you a game and potentially end your World Series chances. I had a couple of bullpens this past week and worked on some things, just trying to get my pitches a little more crisp, arm angles and arm slots where I wanted them to be. And today was a great step in that direction.”
“You can always get better, but today I felt like it was the fruits of some labor since my last start.”
On winning the series against a team that was hot
“We ain’t going to quit anything. We’re still trying to win the division, that’s for sure. We just played good baseball. Good pitching, played good defense, and got enough to go 4-2 [on the trip].”
Not content to get in as wild card?
“Yeah, we’ve still got some games left and we’re looking to make this thing [NL East race] as interesting as we can.”
On pretty much ending the Phillies’ playoff hopes this weekend, after they did that to Braves last year
“They’re one of our division rivals. It’s never anything personal, but they’re kind of in the way of where we’re trying to get, and it’s nice to come up here and take two out of three. Whether they make the playoffs or not, we’re not focused on trying to keep them out. We’re just trying to focus on going in the right direction. It just so happens that we put them farther back in the other wild-card hunt. They’ve got some ground to make up, obviously. Still some games left to see what can happen, but to take two out of three was where we needed to be.”
On his bases-loaded sac fly to center field into wind
“Yesterday that ball is probably a homer. But today it stayed in the ballpark and kept it a close game.”
On all the pitching in series
“The whole road trip, pretty much pitched good. But coming in here and holding these guys to one run and pitching this 2-1 ballgame today was outstanding. Huddy was great. Changed speeds, sinker was on. To face that lineup and only give up one run – it was an unearned run on his part, on the wild pickoff throw – it was a good series. It’s always good to win series and that’s what we preach.”
On Hudson’s having some inconsistency lately, encouraged by this outing?
“It [is]. He’s a pro. He’s going to battle and I thought today was a great indication of what he can do. If it wasn’t a one-run game, might have left him out there. But they pop Nix in there, who has pretty good success against him, in this ballpark a one-run game – you’ve got the bullpen we have, I think you’ve got to [make move] right there.”
On Cliff Lee
“He did a good job. Bases loaded, none out, minimized the damage. He only gave up one run. He did that a couple of times, and that’s the difference between a young pitcher at times and a guy who’s a veteran. They don’t panic. He still went out there and gave his team a great chance to win.”
“He was fine. He went through the game with no problems. And it was nice to see Baker out there in left field. The more you run him out there, the more comfortable you feel with these guys. And we’re going to need him down the stretch, and maybe even in the postseason. It was nice to give Bourny the whole day [to rest his thumb] and McCann, and give Reed Johnson a couple of at-bats against lefties. He didn’t hit the ball hard, but he got a couple of hits anyway. Those things count.”
On Bourn’s injured thumb
“He’s going to see the doctor tomorrow afternoon. He’s progressed well today, but we’re just going to take some precaution. He’s going to see the doctor tomorrow and we’ll see where we go from there. Bubba [trainer Jeff Porter] just came in and said it was better this afternoon, but we’re going to still have him check it out.”