10/4/2013 10:18 P.M. ET
Oct. 4 Fredi Gonzalez postgame interview
By / MLB.com
Q. All the two out hits tonight, it's kind of something you've done all year, but how good do you feel about how you bounced back from last night?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, we had a couple of them, the big ones. I think Chris Johnson had the very first one, and we had some good at bats. We really had some good at bats. I think we were able to tag on runs, or add on runs later in the game, was big.
I thought defensively today we played -- we turned three double plays. The last one with Avilan, first and third, PFP, you see a lot of that play end up in center field. But he made a nice toss to Simmons, and Simmons turned it pretty good.
We played good defense. We played good defense. Mike was outstanding, gave us a great opportunity to win the game. And it was nice to shake hands, especially at home after the game last night. Come out and play a really, really good baseball game, and hopefully carry a little momentum going into LA.
Q. Mike gave up that RBI double in the first inning and then he seemed to settle down. Was there any concern right out of the box there?
FREDI GONZALEZ: No, usually when he settles down like that he's going to give you a good opportunity, he really is, and that's something that he's getting better. He's maturing as a pitcher. I thought he was terrific, I really do.
Q. I know you don't look at it like this going in, but now that the game is over, was that pretty much a must win for you guys?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Oh, there's no question. You don't want to go into the next -- into LA down two games.
But now our goal over there is to win one, maybe split the two games there and come back home. But you're facing Greinke after facing Kershaw last night, and it was a big win, and the guys stepped up and they played tremendous defense and got some add on runs, and we really, really pitched well.
Q. I know you've spoken a few times about if you have three No. 1s, three No. 3s, whatever. How long did you struggle with who to start in Game 1, who to start in Game 2?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Not very long. I think Roger and I sat down and I think Medlen's last five, six starts really solidified it. You could have gone either way. You could have gone Minor first, Medlen second. I think the way the season ended fell perfectly with not giving anybody too much rest or not enough rest juggling that stuff. But anyway, I think for me, either or, we could have gone either or with those two guys.
Q. You have a tough team, obviously Heyward coming back from a broken jaw to play the hero tonight. Were you concerned? I know yesterday you said the team was a little amped up but didn't play a good game. Did you feel the team would be able to bounce back or was there some concern?
FREDI GONZALEZ: No, not at all. Yesterday there was a lot of firsts for a lot of guys and a lot of first appearances, a lot of first at bats in the Division Series, a lot of first managing the first game in the division, too. I was right in the middle of all those things.
We had four pitchers come out of the bullpen last night for the first time to pitch in a playoff game, and I think that was good to get them in there and get them settled in. And then Simmons hadn't played and Gattis and you go on around the horn. I think yesterday was good for them to get their feet wet and kind of settle them down a little bit. But today I didn't think there was going to be any residue from last night.
Q. How about just to get those two insurance runs late in the game, and then also Carp bouncing back from the two run homer with those two strikeouts?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Yeah, I can't wait to see the home run that Hanley hit because I think he one handed it. But you're right, Heyward getting the homer there and getting us a two run lead because stuff like that can happen. The Dodger lineup is a pretty talented lineup. That was big. Those add on runs late were big.
And then Carpenter settled down and got two big strikeouts. We walked a couple of people, extra too many people there in the eighth and ninth innings, but we got out of it.
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, he's a young kid, and we've seen him for 162 games, just keeps getting better and maturing with experience, and I think we've just seen the tip of the iceberg with him. I think he's going to be getting better and better.
Oct. 4 Jason Heyward postgame interview
Q. Your thoughts on the intentional walk to Reed to get to you coming through there?
JASON HEYWARD: Play the matchups. Play the matchups. That's what the postseason is about. You go lefty, lefty there.
Me personally, I'm glad to have an opportunity to come through big for my team right there, got a pitch and I didn't miss it.
Q. Where does this rank among all the top moments that you've experienced early in your career?
JASON HEYWARD: I mean, the top. For right now the top. This is this moment. This is all I can control. Anything that already happened and whatever is going to happen next, I have no control over. So tonight's game was a lot of fun. We want to be in those situations to come through big for your team.
And I was trying to continue to grow up some in this game and continue to get better and continue to be a student of the game and continue to have fun.
Q. A broken jaw is a pretty serious injury. How concerned were you that you weren't going to make it back for the playoffs and how hard did you work? Was it difficult? Was there some concern about health when you got in the box for the first time?
JASON HEYWARD: Well, the first frustrating thing was watching my team play in the biggest part of the season without me, and wanted to be a part of those games, and that was also the second time I had had to be on the DL this year going to the hospital.
I worked really hard to be in shape before my jaw actually healed so I could play, and that is what it is right now. It's not really a concern for me. I know if I was going to step back on the field to help my teammates, I couldn't think about my jaw or anything like that. Get out there and go have some fun.
Q. You guys managed three double plays tonight. After the third one, do you think momentum was on your side?
JASON HEYWARD: Any time you get a double play like that, that kind of kills any momentum on the other side. Name of the game in the playoffs to me is keep runs off the board, put zeros up in innings and don't let the other team score.
We got a two run lead tonight and that's not a very big lead for any playoff game. To be able to put on extra insurance runs late in the game, that's huge when you play some defense like that, help your pitchers get out of innings.
Q. Fredi said you guys thought this was probably a must win game. Did you feel that way, too?
JASON HEYWARD: Yeah, I know a manager has got a different mindset sometimes than the players, but I know we all agree on one thing tonight, every night in the postseason is a must win game for us. You don't want to ever think it's okay to lose. That's been our attitude all year. I feel like anybody that's in the postseason, any team says we need to win tonight. And we came up big.
Q. You guys have said you guys have been resilient all year. That's a term we've heard a lot. Is this a game where that proved to be true again?
JASON HEYWARD: Oh, absolutely. That's what it takes to win 96 games I feel like in a very tough division with some very respected teams. To play as well as we did at home after being down so many times, that says a lot about what it takes to win postseason games for me. We showed up in the regular season and did it, but it's good to do it in the postseason.
Q. If you could just make a comment about the size of the crowd, the noise they made and how that affects you guys on the field.
JASON HEYWARD: Man, I've watched this crowd growing up, and to be out there and be a part of it is a special thing for me personally. I know we definitely feed off of them, and no atmosphere is like Turner Field to me when it's a packed house.
Oct. 4 Craig Kimbrel postgame interview
Q. Before the two‑run homer was there any indication that this might be a night where you get a four‑out save?
CRAIG KIMBREL: Yeah, there definitely was, called down for me to prepare and to stretch, start throwing when Carp went out, and it just so happened that happened, and I came in.
Q. You did this before a couple weeks ago. How much different was it here in the postseason?
CRAIG KIMBREL: It was a big difference. It's a regular season day game, and it's a postseason night game here, packed house. But it's still baseball. My job is to go out there and get as many outs as I'm supposed to get to finish the game, and I was able to do it tonight.
Q. Just with the emotions, though, how much different were the emotions?
CRAIG KIMBREL: Oh, it's obviously big. It's one of those things you always try to tell yourself to calm down. It's a little bit easier said than done. I was able to make it through it tonight.
Q. Did the situation in the crowd give you a few more miles an hour on the fastball tonight?
CRAIG KIMBREL: I guess it did. The scoreboard said so. But no, I was just trying not to throw it where I could get hurt. I left some balls up where I didn't want to do that. I got ahead of Ellis and Ethier, and I felt like I was in pretty good position, but I think I tried to do too much and lost something off of them. It was just one of those things. That might have got me a little bit. But Gerald throwing Dee out, that made the inning completely different.
Q. Momentum is such a big thing in sports. Can you talk about just what this means at this moment right now, the home crowd behind you ready to head out west, a bit of redemption possibly for the team?
CRAIG KIMBREL: Yeah, it's huge. Nobody wanted to go out to LA down two games. Tonight was huge in our minds. We knew we were going to have a tough game ahead of us, our guys showed up, played hard, and we got some big hits tonight. That's what it came down to. We're going out to LA, and hopefully we can keep that momentum going.
Oct. 4 Mike Minor postgame interview
Q. Not to get all specific right out of the box here, but the pitches that you struck out González on Uribe, a fastball and a knuckle curve, is that what they were?
MIKE MINOR: Yeah, I don't know if it's a knuckle curve, but I guess it's the way I grip. Yeah, sinker to Adrian and then a curveball to Uribe.
Q. What were the emotions tonight? Exactly what you expected? And did you think you handled them?
MIKE MINOR: Yes, I think I was a lot more composed than initially what I thought when I was thinking about it all day today. I had a lot of anxiety.
But when I went out there and I was warming up, it all felt the same. We've had pretty big crowds this year on the weekends, and I told myself it was kind of like the same thing. With the buzz, it was just a buzz when you got up there. It's a lot easier for me to pitch with that kind of noise than smaller crowds where you can hear some guys yelling in the background at you.
Q. Talk about coming out with a performance like you did tonight after the one you guys had last night, to go back to LA 1‑1.
MIKE MINOR: Yeah, that's huge. We even it up, we go to LA. Obviously it's going to be tougher over there. But it's a big win. We really needed it. We needed to even it up. We're going into the next game feeling good.
Q. You had allowed the walk and the double in the first inning there. What were your thoughts as you walked off the mound after the first and what changed after that?
MIKE MINOR: It's kind of a blur, but I feel like initially I thought it was one of those first things again where I gave up another run, but I felt like I was pretty close to making some good pitches. I felt really good going into the next inning, and it wasn't like I was still trying to figure stuff out. I felt pretty good. I was just pretty much mad at myself for giving up that one run with a dominant pitcher, with going against Greinke.
Q. You threw 40 pitches to get through the first two innings, but your guys tied it for you in the bottom of the second. Did that relax you, make you think that you're back to even keel here?
MIKE MINOR: Yeah, I felt like the whole time our guys were taking great at‑bats, seeing the ball pretty well off of him. So when we scored one off of him and tied it back up, I felt like I need to go back out there and have a shutdown inning. Shutdown the rest of the time I'm out there and do the best I could and give our team, give our hitters, a chance to get another one on the board.
Q. You have told us you guys were resilient all year. Coming off of what happened last night, is this another indication of what this team can do when their backs are against the wall?
MIKE MINOR: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I don't feel like anybody ‑‑ it was down from last night. Initially we wanted to win the first game, but I don't think anybody came to this game thinking we were going to lose again. We all felt good going into the game, relaxed, had a good vibe in the clubhouse prior to the game, and now we're feeling really good after this win.
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