Braves React To Loss

After another heart-wrenching loss that allowed another team to celebrate on their field for the 8th year in a row, several members of the Atlanta Braves showed tremendous regret and shock over the blowout loss to the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. BravesCenter's Bill Shanks was in the clubhouse after the game and has reaction from several Braves players.

MEDIA: Can you talk about your disappointment?
ANDRUW JONES: We pushed hard. We gave it all we had. A lot of people didn't count on us to be here. We did our job in the regular season and battled to get back in the playoffs. We made a good run against Houston, but they just hit better than us and that's why they won.

MEDIA: Is it hard to watch other teams celebrate on your home field?
ANDRUW JONES: It is disappointing. It is disappointing to have people celebrate on your own home ground doesn't feel good. We gave it all we got. They were just better than us. They hit better and scored more runs. We had some opportunities to cut the lead short. I hit into a double play so right there that just killed us.

MEDIA: Do you get any solace with the way you finished the year?
ANDRUW JONES: We I think everybody gave it all they got. I think we went out and they didn't come out and sweep us the way everybody else was planning it. We gave it all and got to game five. I'm proud of everybody. We did all we could to win. We just couldn't get it done.

MEDIA: Can you talk about how you can get beat this bad in a game like this?
ANDRUW JONES: It's baseball. Those guys went out there and hit better than us and they scored more runs. That's baseball. If you don't get those last three outs in the ninth inning, the game is not over and anything can happen. We just made our mistakes and they took advantage. That was the game.

MEDIA: Is this a successful season despite the loss?
ANDRUW JONES: We gave it a good run. It's not a success in the fact that when you get into the playoffs you want to get back into the World Series and into the championships. Our point was that we gave it all we got during the season and we made it where a lot of people didn't think we were going to be. When we get into the playoffs, we want to get all the way to the World Series. It's disappointing that we didn't play better than the other team to keep going.

MEDIA: There are a lot of young people on this team. How will this help them?
ANDRUW JONES: Well it's experience. You're never going to be too smart for this game. This game is too complicated. I don't know. We've got a lot of guys in their first year, so they'll be back next year and we'll give it a better run next year.

MEDIA: If there's one thing that needs to be done in the offseason, what is it?
ANDRUW JONES: I can't talk about the offseason. I'm not the GM and I'm not the owner. I can't say nothing for that. I don't know.

MEDIA: Do you think J.D. Drew should return?
ANDRUW JONES: No doubt. If it were not for J.D. we would not be where we're at. He did a tremendous job during the season. He was our MVP. He and Johnny Estrada did a tremendous job. We need him. But I can't speak for what the front office or people are going to do.

MEDIA: How do you feel about how Furcal played considering his circumstances?
ANDRUW JONES: Furcal is a strong guy. He loves this game so much that he doesn't let anything bother him. He might let him bother him when he gets out of here, when he gets home, but when he's out there on the field, he doesn't let anything bother him. He goes out and plays hard. He goes out there and does what he does all the time.

MEDIA: How hard is it to see the other team celebrate on your field?
ANDRUW JONES: We've seen it happy quite a few times already. We really didn't want it to happen this year. We thought we could beat those guys. They were just better than us. They scored more runs. We were not thinking we were going to lose this game.

MEDIA: Did you almost feel after Sunday there was some magic with this team?
ANDRUW JONES: You know that's baseball. You can't project this game and what's going to happen. Things could have turned around in the eighth inning for us. We could have scored 7 or 8 runs. You never know. They played better than us. They did a better job hitting-wise and pitching-wise, so that's why they won.

MEDIA: The crowd was behind you guys really good tonight.
ANDRUW JONES: Well I'm really proud of the crowd. They came out and supported us and we appreciate that a lot. We wish we could have come out on top and celebrate, but that's the game.

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MEDIA: It was too easy to feel good after Sunday's game, wasn't it?
MARCUS GILES: Oh yea. You can't get too excited. You can take the moment at the moment, but once you get on the plane and get to Atlanta and scratch out yesterday…but we didn't do that. We weren't too happy about yesterday and took it into today. We just didn't swing the bats very well with guys in scoring position.

MEDIA: Since this team has been down so much, it was almost like you were supposed to have the script written a little better.
MARCUS GILES: I don't know. I thought we had a great chance tonight. We had our chances. We just didn't capitalize. It's kind of cliché to say, ‘we'll work on next year,' cause it's too close to this year to worry about next year yet. So we'll see.

MEDIA: Will a lot of the good things about this team be forgotten because of what happened in this series?
MARCUS GILES: I hope not. We had a great July and August to get ourselves back in the hunt. It's just unfortunate to end like this. We wanted to get a shot at the World Series, but it didn't happen. We're going to have to rebuild our bodies and heal up a little bit and get ready for next year. Unfortunately, just get ready for next year.

MEDIA: How did you honestly feel about this team coming out of spring training?
MARCUS GILES: I thought we were going to do as well as we have in the past. Everybody else didn't, but I definitely did. There was no doubt in my mind. We have a good group of guys in here. Everybody gets along. We just feel a little short unfortunately.

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MEDIA: What does this postseason experience do for you?
CHARLES THOMAS: I don't know it's really kind of hard for me to talk about at this point. I appreciate the fact that I was able to have this opportunity and to be in this situation we're in, but to have it end like this is tough. As far as next year, I think this will just give us motivation more than anything. We'll know we won't want to go through this again and have it end the way we did.

MEDIA: This team was just not able to get consistent offense.
CHARLES THOMAS: Give them credit. The whole series they put pressure on us. Offensively they did a great job. They were on man. We didn't give up, but they just put us away.

MEDIA: We only had the lead for four innings in the series. That's tough.
CHARLES THOMAS: Right. It was tough. We came out with a lot of energy tonight. The crowd was into it. It was a good crowd. We got down early and we tried to fight back, but they just took it to us really. They did a great job all series.

MEDIA: What did you feel after Sunday's game about our chances tonight?
CHARLES THOMAS: We really felt good about our situation. To be able to split there when nobody had won in a while and be able to bring it back here in front of our home crowd, we just felt good about our chances. It just didn't work out. Give them a lot of credit. We battled. We didn't give up. It just wasn't for us.

Bill Shanks can be reached at thebravesshow@email.com

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