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October 5, 2012

Chipper Jones


St. Louis – 6
Atlanta – 3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Chipper.

Q.  You probably had a hundred ways you envisioned your career ending.  Probably not like on a night like tonight.  Can you explain what you experienced tonight?
CHIPPER JONES:  This is not one of them.  I can assure you that.  It's just one of those things that happens from time to time.  You have a game defensively where you don't make plays that you should.  You give good teams extra outs, and, you know, it ends up biting you.
My play made a good play on the pick got a two‑seam grip, and it just sailed on me no other way to explain it.  Looking back I realized later on that Beltran had to stop because of the hold on the line drive, and if I had to do it all over again, I probably would have double clutched and made sure I got a four‑seam grip, and give Uggla a little more time to get to second base, and give myself a better opportunity to make a truer throw.  But we gave up six runs on six hits, and I don't know how many of them were unearned.  But as far as I'm concerned the only one they should have scored was the homer.

Q.  Speaking so fondly of the one‑game play in as you did earlier this evening, is this the kind of thing you feared you could have a really good season, and you could have a terrible night and be undone by an umpiring decision and now you're going home?
CHIPPER JONES:  Well, ultimately I think that when we look back on this loss, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror.  We put ourselves in that predicament, down 6‑2.  You know, that call right there is kind of a gray area.  I don't know.  But I'm not willing to say that that particular call cost us the ballgame.  Ultimately, three errors cost us the ballgame, mine probably being the biggest.  Did it cost us one out?  Did it cost us one run, possibly more?  Yes.  But I'm not willing to sit here and say that that call cost us the ballgame.

Q.  What did you think of the fans reaction to it, and did you almost get hit by a bottle at some point?
CHIPPER JONES:  No, I was up under the awning.  Mama didn't raise no fool.  But it's disappointing.  Any time something like that happens.  Obviously, delays in the game throw everybody kind of off their game.  You never want to see something get violent like that.
I know one thing is for sure, you won't be able to say that Braves fans don't care.  They came out in full force tonight, 50,000 strong.  We love each and every one of them.  Obviously, you don't want to see what happened there in the eighth inning happen.  But when you've got a Game 7 and your whole season is on the line, obviously there was a call that didn't go‑‑ that did go against the home team.  Unfortunately, things like that are going to happen.

Q.  Can you take us through your last at‑bat?  Just your emotions there?
CHIPPER JONES:  It was a blower, literally.  That guy throws hard.  He gave me a couple of 97s, and 98s to sail at out away from it that I probably should have hit hard somewhere.  Then I broke off one of the hardest cutters I've ever seen.  That guy is really tough.  Obviously, you turn around and see 50,000 people up on their feet cheering you it gives you a little extra incentive to go out there and try to start a rally.
Ultimately, we ended up bringing the tying run to the dish there in the 9th, but, again, I think we just dug ourselves a little bit too big of a hole defensively tonight.

Q.  I wanted to ask about your next to last at‑bat.  It's two outs, two on there, and you have a chance to make up for a lot of bad things.
CHIPPER JONES:  Yeah, that one will stick with me because I got a pitch to hit, and that guy's got a really good sinker.  Moved up on the plate to kind of get it before it sunk too much on me.  Moved up on the plate and was basically just trying to hit a line drive up the middle and the other way.  And that sinker is a heavy sinker, and I just couldn't elevate it up over the second baseman's head.
I felt good in that situation.  I felt like I got the pitch to hit, and I put a good swing on it, I centered it, and just right into the ground right at the second baseman.

Q.  Has it sunk in as far as this is over, it's done?
CHIPPER JONES:  No, I don't think it will for a few days, maybe a week.  I don't know.  As I told everybody today, I'm okay.  I obviously wanted to move on.  I wanted to come out here and play well.  Today my heart is broken not for me, my heart is broken for my teammates and my coaching staff, and all these fans that have been so great to us this year.
But I'll be okay.  It's just one of those things.  You come to the park, and I walk out of here knowing that I brought it every single day.  I think when you walk out of here knowing that you brought it every day, it makes walking away on the final day a little bit easier.

Q.  Can you describe what it was like and what happened when you walked in the clubhouse after the game?
CHIPPER JONES:  Lot of shock.  The people that were talking were obviously talking about the call on the infield fly.  They're disappointed.  There are a lot of guys in there trying to lay blame, and I just kind of kept my mouth shut because ultimately I feel I'm the one to blame.  That play should have been a tailor made double‑play, and they ended up scoring three runs and gaining momentum.  Then Holliday hits the homer, and now all of a sudden we're down two runs, and it just seemed like that play there turned everything.  That's what I'm most disappointed in, I think.  Walking away my last game, you certainly don't want to go 0 for 5 and make an error that loses the season for your ballclub.  That will be something I'll have to deal with in the days to come.

Q.  I'd like to give you a more mushy question, but I need to ask this one instead.  As a third baseman, have you ever seen an infield fly called that far in the outfield?
CHIPPER JONES:  I'm not going to say that I haven't.  I haven't seen one called where the guy wasn't camped.  You know, normally when you're that far out, nobody's camped.  But I saw the rule where it doesn't necessarily have to be an infielder, it could be an outfielder who comes in and ultimately makes the play.  But you really don't see any clear indication that one of the two was camped.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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