10/05/2012 9:03 PM EST
Oct. 5 Fredi Gonzalez postgame interview
Q. What was the explanation that you were given?
FREDI GONZALEZ: It's an infield fly rule. I was arguing or protesting that it was not an ordinary effort. I thought that the shortstop had to go way out there to make a play on that flyball, and I think we've got to take account of the crowd, 50,000 people yelling, and I thought there was some miscommunication between Holliday and Kozma. I went out there and protested the game, and they came in and talked to Joe I don't know if it's Joe Garagiolla or Joe Torre, because the protest, obviously, there is no game tomorrow, so it's got to be done right there and now. So they came back and told me that they're going to go with what they called it on the field. I thought the umpires did a nice job handling that with my protest, and calling, and trying to get information. Again, from where I was, I just kind of took a glimpse of the replay, I thought we have a legit beef.
Q. Given everything that happened tonight, your defense played shoddy one of the rare times all season. Did it make it especially difficult because you did have a chance there against all odds to kind of come back with McCann on deck?
FREDI GONZALEZ: We had some opportunities to score some runs and we didn't get the big hit when we needed to. What hurts, and you're absolutely right, we lead the league in fielding percentage all year long, and today we didn't handle the ball quite the way we've done for 164. 162, I'm sorry. Every time we've given them an opportunity, they scored big runs against us. I thought we did a nice job on Medlen. We kept putting him behind the 8 ball, and he kept making pitches. But, again, we didn't score runs. And we didn't handle the baseball like we have, and it's something that we're proud of the last couple of years here defensively, and it came back and bit us.
Q. I'm sure it is difficult to lose a postseason game like this under any circumstances. Does it make it more difficult that this is a "one game series"?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Yeah, maybe they need to tweak the rules a little bit as you go forward. But it was one game for both teams. So, that part was fair. Both team his one game to play, and we didn't play particularly well on our end, so the Cardinals go on to the next round.
Q. Do you think the umpires handled the interference call on Simmons correctly, and two, when the infield fly rule was called, did you think Sam's hand was in the air late as the ball was dropping?
FREDI GONZALEZ: I think the interference going down the baseline, I think they made that call right, and somebody came up from the clubhouse a little later on and said that Simmons was on the grass. The infield fly rule is to protect the runners, really. But I thought that Kozma went out there way too far for a regular, ordinary flyball, and I think you've got to take sometimes you've got to take the wind at Wrigley Field for an ordinary flyball and the sun, and I thought today the crowd. I thought we were going to catch a break there. Bases loaded and one out with McCann at the plate instead of second and third and two outs. But nevertheless, we didn't score runs when we had a chance to, and we didn't handle the baseball.
Q. On the Simmons bunt, did you call a safety squeeze?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Yeah, that was a safety squeeze.
Q. Was Freddy framed no matter what?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, the safety squeeze, you've got the runner on third base you've got to read. I think we were just a couple of feet from really executing that to textbook with the bunt. I think if Simmons gets a little more behind it, and gets past the pitcher a little bit, I think Freeman walks home. But looking back into last month in September, we've had some tough times scoring runs, and I thought it was an opportunity there to tie the ballgame with Simmons and try to sneak a run in somehow.
Q. When you saw the infield fly call come from the left field umpire as opposed to the third base umpire, obviously it's a regular season game, that call's not going to be made in that way. Did that confirm your problem with the call?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, I thought my problem with the call was that I thought the shortstop went out there a long, long, long ways to try to catch that ball. That's my problem. My interpretation of the rule, whether it was Jeff Nelson at third base or Sam at left field line, for me, it didn't matter really. It was just one of those things.
Q. Just one other thing. To what degree you mentioned the balls that were not handled in the field. Did you see tonight as a game of poise that maybe you didn't hold as well as you typically do or was that extraneous to the equation, do you think?
FREDI GONZALEZ: The guys that made the errors are pretty shorthanded. Whether we were excited a little bit, you can't fault them for that. We've got a young kid playing shortstop. We've got Chipper who is a veteran, and we've got Danny Uggla who is a six, seven year veteran, so you can't blame them for being inexperienced. But I'm sure we were excited. It's a playoff game, a one game playoff, and 50,000 people this the seats or whatever, 50,000 plus, and we just didn't do what we normally do and it hurt us.
Q. Obviously this was a pressure situation in an important game. But did that response from the fans catch you off guard?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, I think we have very passionate fans here in Atlanta, and I think I'm a little disappointed with the reaction of throwing bottles and beer cans and you name it. For me, that's uncalled for. I think we, as fans, and I understand. I understand the disappointment. But we can't do that. As Atlanta Braves and people from Georgia, it doesn't look good, and I'm a little disappointed in our fans from that point. You get people injured out there, ask then it's scary. It really is when you're standing out there, whether you're a St. Louis Cardinal, an Atlanta Brave or an empire, and you have these things coming at you, it's a scary moment.
Q. As a guy in charge of his team is this the kind of night you dread? A one game playoff, your team doesn't play like it's been playing for a couple of years now and you're in position where one big call can knock you out, not just of this game, but the rest of October?
FREDI GONZALEZ: Well, it's the nature of our game, of our business. It hurts. Whether it's a bad call or a bad play or we didn't get to drive in the run. Nevertheless, in my opinion, I think you've got to judge our team over 162 game season. I'm so proud of them. Anybody could have one bad game. Anybody could have one bad call, whatever, and go against you. But you win 94 games after the September we had last year, and you've got to tip your hat to this club. It hurts. It hurts losing ballgames the way we did tonight.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.