10/09/05 1:30 PM ET
Chipper Jones pregame interview
Braves' veteran slugger talks about NLDS
By / MLB.com
CHIPPER JONES: He seems to be locked in pretty good right now. We keep trying to challenge him with fastballs in, and he keeps breaking them down in the corner.
So he's in one of those zones that we all live for, you know, we like to be in at this time of year. Craig has been through this situation before. You know, he's had his share of tough times. Now, the last couple years against us he's really, you know, stepped it up and been locked in at the right time of the year.
How much is the Braves' legacy, this team's legacy, defined by the postseason struggles versus what you've guys accomplished just to get to the postseason all these years?
JONES: I think the legacy is what it is. We've won 14 straight. You know, we know how special that is. We're going to keep doing our thing, you know, whether we win or lose in postseason. You know, it's not going to change the fact that we've won 14 straight division titles.
Would we like to win, you know, more playoff series? Yeah, of course. But it just hasn't happened for us. Unfortunately, in the past couple years, we've run into a hot Kerry Wood, a hot Mark Prior, a hot Roger Clemens, a hot Roy Oswalt and, you know, having to go back through the Astros again this year is not an easy task. Not to say that this series is over, because we plan on going back and playing another game in Atlanta. But the road hasn't been easy.
Can you talk about an early game after a late night like that? Do you think everybody will be pretty exhausted?
JONES: No, we'll be ready to play. Everybody's going to be ready to play. It's playoff time, and, you know, I think, you know, if we were 150 games into the regular season, it would be you'd see some people dragging. But this crowd is electric when they get inside this place, and if you can't get up to play in this game, then something's bad wrong with you.
Chipper, how much do you think your experience and the other veterans in this sort of situation helps you deal when your backs are against the wall, like today?
JONES: Well, we've got a lot of experience having our back against the wall. You know, I think just with all the young guys -- we've had 18 rookies on this roster at one point or another during the course of the season -- and, you know, I think the one thing you just try and relate to them is that, you know, it's baseball. It's four balls, three strikes, three outs. The game is still played the same. Yeah, if we don't win today, we go home for a long winter, but it's still a game, you know; go out, have fun, play the game, play hard, and we'll see where we stand at the end of the ninth inning -- and hopefully we'll go back to Atlanta to play a Game 5.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.