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Cox postgame quotes
10/07/2004 9:55 PM ET
Q. Another big ballgame today. For a while it looked like you were going to lose it. But let's go back to the protest, why?

BOBBY COX: Well, it doesn't make any difference now. We won the ballgame. And I don't even know if a protest like that can hold up.

But it just seemed strange to our dugout that Lidge normally pitches the ninth, or sometimes the eighth and the ninth, and sometimes in the seventh, I guess. We didn't think he was warmed up.

But they could have had some type of communication problem, but the phone was working. Absolutely, 100 percent.

So it's irrelevant now and doesn't matter.

Q. Congratulations on the win, but obviously you're leaving a lot of men on base. Your thoughts on that?

BOBBY COX: It makes no difference if you win, and tonight we won. Last night we left way too many on. You go in streaks like that. It happens during the course of a season, a hit here and there, you can win a ballgame. Sometimes you go a couple days like that. Maybe our two days are over with now. We did everything we could both days to get runs in, and we just couldn't do it. Finally, a home run. They had hit six home runs already. I think Andruw hit one last night, and Fookie (Furcal) hit one tonight. Sometimes they can be the difference, too.

Q. Does something like that do something for your team when you're struggling with runners in scoring position?

BOBBY COX: Yeah, I think so, to come up with a big hit like that. We did a good job against Roger (Clemens) getting on base. Tight strike zone, and so did our guy, and it was hard to get the corners called, and our guys did a good job of laying off. We got them on, we just couldn't get them in. Tonight we had our chances again. You're just hoping for a blooper now and then, anything.

The good thing is we did make contact, in most of those situations, if you put the ball in play you have a chance for it to fall in somewhere.

Q. Is that how you break a string like that, you get that hit?

BOBBY COX: I think that's a great way to break the string, to have a walk off home run like that.

Q. Talk about Mike Hampton's performance tonight, only two bad pitches, two home runs.

BOBBY COX: I think he made one, maybe. Chavez hit the ball out and Bags (Jeff Bagwell) just muscled that. That was a decent pitch and Bags is really a strong kid. He hit it out. He's a great player, has been for a long time.

But Hampton really gutted up tonight. I thought to give up four hits to the team was a tremendous performance. Clutched it in a couple times.

We were looking for that, and we got it.

Q. Could you talk about the distractions Rafy has had the last couple of days and his ability to come through tonight in spite of it?

BOBBY COX: I think he feels just terrible, to be honest with you. I talked to him, that we would be there for him all the time. Nobody likes to have their name in the paper like that, that's for sure. As much as we can, we want him to forget about it, concentrate on baseball, and things will work out very good for him in the future. I'd look for Fookie to have the rest of the playoffs, a good one. He's really playing a good short right now, tremendous. He got the game winner tonight and that's a big boost for that kid.

Q. As well as their bullpen has been performing lately, was it a surprise that Lidge came in so early and does it send a message to their team you handled their bullpen so well?

BOBBY COX: No, not at all. Wasn't a shocker they came in. They're trying to win, just like us. John Smoltz went three tonight. Cruz threw the first two, got the pitch count up. But he'll be ready to go on Saturday, no doubt. He also got a nice hit there. I thought we were going to win it with him tagging home plate there for a while, get the win pitching and get the win by a single in rightfield.

Q. The pressure today was on the Braves to win, not go into Houston down by two. Do you think the pressure now is back on Houston, or is it still the Braves, how do you see it.

BOBBY COX: You have to keep in context, it's a ballgame. And every game is pressure, every single game. We needed to win tonight to go into Houston at least even. I'm always the optimist, I suppose, but we have won three in a row a lot this year. There's no reason we couldn't have done that.

John Thomson threw, looked good again today. He'll be out there on Saturday.

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