Braves quotes after Thursday’s win at San Francisco
** FREDI GONZALEZ
“Julio did a terrific job, for a guy who hadn’t pitched in about nine, 10 days. He did a terrific job. After the second inning we asked him, or we made him throw his changeup more often to the left-handers. For me, that’s what got him over the hump, to be able to keep those left-handers off his fastball and off his breaking stuff. And he gave us a great outing, he really did.”
On improvement of offensive with McCann back, Uggla doing more, etc
“It’s getting there. I think with Mac in there it’s a good lineup. We’ve just got to stop going around the country and feeding people. In Cincinnati we gave everybody pizzas, and here it’s brats for everybody. But if we do that and we get W’s, we can make fun of it.”
Good to get that first homer out of the way?
“Absolutely. I think more importantly, the way Julio pitched tonight was very encouraging. He was working his sinker, four-seamer in there, mixing them up all night, had a good curveball, had a great changeup tonight. He got beat on a hanging slider. I think every time he missed the glove he got hit, and it wasn’t that many. I thought he pitched great, and he can build off this for his next one.”
On settling down after his rough first few innings
“The first three innings I was missing a little bit. After that I was using all my pitches, commanding better, and I was able to get it done.”
On Fredi saying they told you to throw more changeups, trust it more?
“I started throwing my old changeup, the one I was using the year before. So I started throwing it today and it worked.”
Atlanta Braves: McCann’s 2-Run Blast Leads To Series-Opening Win
With Brian McCann out of the lineup for the first 30 games of the 2013 season, things seemed a bit “off” for Atlanta. After all, McCann is a six-time All-Star who has spent his entire career in an Atlanta uniform, and he is one of the cornerstones of this “era” of Braves baseball.
Then, on Thursday night, McCann smacked a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning that opened the scoring for the Braves, and he led the team with 3 hits. In the 4th game since his initial return, this was the “I’m Back” moment for B-Mac, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Kimbrel earns 100th career save
When Craig Kimbrel struck out four of the six batters he faced while helping the Braves win Game 2 of the 2010 National League Division Series against the Giants, he was a highly regarded middle reliever who was showing signs of his great potential.
Visions of that memorable outing danced through Kimbrel’s head after he notched his 100th career save while standing on that same AT&T Park mound during the Braves’ 6-3 win over the Giants on Thursday night.
“It felt like it was yesterday when we were out here in the playoffs,” Kimbrel said. “It’s gone by really fast. I’m definitely taking it in a little bit. It’s definitely nice to get that milestone and just move on. We still have a long season to go and hopefully we can get a lot more.”
Gonzalez off to daughter’s graduation
Fredi Gonzalez is leaving the Atlanta Braves for a whirlwind, cross-country trek back to Georgia.
After managing Thursday night’s series opener at San Francisco, Gonzalez is set to depart from the Bay Area at 6 a.m. on Friday so he can arrive in Statesboro, Ga., in time to attend his daughter’s graduation from Georgia Southern first thing Saturday morning.
He will fly from San Francisco to Atlanta, then to Savannah before renting a car and driving another 45 minutes to Statesboro.
”I couldn’t be any further away,” Gonzalez said of playing out West. ”Hey, whatever it takes, if you’ve got to take Stagecoach or Pony Express to go see your daughter graduate college, you’ve got to do it. … I wonder where Chipper’s (Jones) at. I’d think he’d swing by and come get me.”