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October 7, 2013

Fredi Gonzalez



Q.  Your bullpen has been your strength throughout the year.  It may have been weakened after Walden was hurt, and probably just a crushing blow for the season to end this way. 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Yeah, you know, you don't want it to ever end the way we ended today.  But we had the right guy out there.  Carp (Carpenter) has been good for us.  You know, there is nothing to be ashamed of.  Two guys got a double and a solo home run.  Those guys are in my locker room and they've battled all year long. 
To end the way it did tonight, it's going to hurt.  It's going to be a long way back.  But tip your hat to the Dodgers and congratulate Donnie and his staff.  You know, the sad thing is there are no more games, you know? 

Q.  Obviously everyone doubted or questioned your decision to go with Freddy Garcia.  He had to have given you more than anyone could have ever expected?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  He was outstanding.  He really was.  He matched pitch for pitch with Kershaw.  He was in line to get the W.  It's hard to save games at times, a one‑run game, trying to get nine outs.  But I couldn't ask‑‑ we couldn't ask for anymore what Freddy gave us really.  You have to tip your hat to him.  He gave us a great opportunity to win the game.

Q.  Obviously, at the time in the 7th inning, a huge play with Johnson and then with calling the right strings and stuff with the pinch hitter.  Can you talk a little bit about your decision to do that and how proud you were at the time with him coming through? 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Constanza? 

Q.  Constanza, yeah. 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  You know, it took us about five, six days to settle on the Postseason roster.  Our coaching staff, and you've got to give them the credit, because they talked me into carrying Constanza on the roster.  He said this guy puts the ball in play, and in the Postseason you need somebody to put the ball in play. 
Pinch hitting there, we felt good, big at‑bat, big RBI single there put us ahead.  But, yeah, you've got to give all the credit to my coaching staff, because they talked me into putting him in the Postseason.  Just for that reason right there, just to put the ball in play when you had to put a ball in play.

Q.  When a team like the Dodgers makes sort of a play like they did with Kershaw and in an attempt to finish a series like that, is there any sort of emotion that you experience, the team experiences in terms of it's not‑‑ it's not as simple as just naming the guy to pitch.  It just sort of gets you going a little bit?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  For getting us going? 

Q.  Yes. 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  I don't think it mattered who was throwing against us today.  We were up against it.  It was an elimination game, and it didn't matter who pitched for us.  We would have had to bring it, what we brought today.  We had good at‑bats against Clayton.  We had good at‑bats the whole night.  They got all the runs on home runs, if I'm not mistaken.  The two by Crawford, and then the two‑run homer by Uribe. 
But you know what, I don't think it mattered who we were facing today.  I think we were going to bring energy, and we did that.

Q.  How far, obviously, you're not going to bring in Kimbrel for six outs, but how far do you go in that inning?  Are you hitching to go we can bring him in after four?  Or what is the limit? 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  We were thinking, and we had it set up.  We double switched and put our best defense out there.  We had it set up to bring him to four outs.  I think six outs was something that we weren't even talking about in the dugout.  But I think with two outs we were planning to do that.  We set up the 8th inning to be able to do that.

Q.  Did you feel pretty good getting to the Dodgers before they get to that 8th inning with Wilson and then in the ninth inning to Jansen?  Is that a big deal when you play the Dodgers to kind of get them before they get those two? 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Their success is their starting pitching.  They're not shabby in the bullpen.  They bring some guys that have pretty good arms and they'll match up with your lefties, lefty‑righties.  I think the acquisition of Brian Wilson has strengthened that bullpen since the last time we saw them. 
But you know what?  It's the Major Leagues.  You never feel like you've got an advantage towards anybody.  You know, like I said earlier, it's hard to convert a one‑run save or get nine outs before they get another run.  I don't know if I answered your question or not.

Q.  What will you remember most about this team what they did throughout the year? 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  There's a lot of good stuff.  Chris Johnson, second in the National League in batting title.  Freddie Freeman should be talked about MVP candidate.  Simmons should win a Gold Glove.  Kimbrel could maybe talk about some Cy Young, you know, out of the bullpen. 
The resiliency of the team, I think we led the league in come back from behind.  So a lot of good stuff happened.  A lot of guys participated in the 96‑win season.  You know, it's going to be one of those seasons that you're not going to appreciate for about a couple of weeks, and then you say, you know what?  It was a pretty darn good team.  Pretty darn good season.

Q.  Does it make it tougher knowing that you won tonight with Garcia, you came from behind to take the lead, and then you were that close to taking it back to Atlanta for a Game 5?  Does that all make it‑‑
FREDI GONZALEZ:  You know, that hasn't even come through my mind yet.  My mind was trying to count outs and trying to get through the game.  I think on the plane ride back you start thinking about those things.  That we were that close to having a Game 5 back at our place.  You know how successful we've been at home.  It just didn't happen right now.

Q.  If this was Brian's last game in a Braves uniform, what will you remember most about what he did? 
FREDI GONZALEZ:  I'm not even thinking about that.  We don't know if that's happening or not. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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