The Pirates released Erik Bedard today.
You see where I’m going here.
“We’re winning, we’re playing good baseball,” Jones said. “That’s the most important part. Individual accolades, they’re awesome, but we’re winning.”
Jones mentioned on a postgame show that he was “on vacation.” Is he back?
“I booked the flight back home,” he said. “I’m on stand-by or something. I don’t know. But that’s why you’ve got 25 guys here to pick you up. I haven’t swung the bat the best this whole second half, but we’ve been playing good baseball. A lot of guys have really picked up the (slack) that I haven’t been doing, and that’s called a team. We’ve just been playing good ball and if I come back off of vacation, you never know what’ll happen.”
I think we have a pretty good idea.
Was being stuck on 24 homers this season and 99 for his career beginning to wear on him?
“We’ve been playing good baseball. I don’t care,” Jones said. “You guys care about all of that. I care about playing good baseball. And throughout 108 (homerless) at-bats, we’ve played good baseball, so I don’t care.”
Manager Buck Showalter said Jones eventually will make someone pay for his struggles.
“Generally, yeah,” Jones said. “I go out there looking to destroy any pitcher that’s on the mound. You’re successful, you’re not successful, but that’s my mindset. I’ve had that same mindset the whole last month. It just hasn’t been working. The execution, I’ve been unable to execute it. That’s the way I play the game. You think I’m going to stop playing the game because I’m struggling, nah. I’m going to go up there and hack just like I’ve been hacking, because that’s what’s got me here and that’s what’s allowed me to stay in the major leagues. It’s part of the game. Sometimes it goes out, sometimes it don’t.”
The first thing Jones wanted to do when reporters approached his locker was talk about Tillman.
“Tillman shut down one of the game’s best offenses,” he said. “Those guys are hitting. He shut that lineup down.
“His confidence is in throwing strike one. He’s attacking that strike zone. That’s what it is. You’ve got to compete up here. If you sit there and think that your talent is just going to get you here and you’re just going to stay here because your talented, that’s not the case. He’s getting to understand that. And he’s going out there and proving his value. And you get one shot to make it in this game and he’s out there helping out this team the best he can.”
Here’s Tillman describing his outing:
“Physically, I felt good. There were some spurts there when I kind of got out of whack, but (Matt Wieters) came right on line there. I was able to establish the fastball early on both sides of the plate. I think in the long run it helped me out.
“I started pulling the ball a little bit, rushing to the plate. (Rick) Adair came out there and said, ‘You’re spinning off here a little bit. Stay on line and get back on track.’
Tillman wasn’t aware that he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning because he had walked three batters.
“With all the walks, it’s a battle. Like I said, I got out of whack a little bit there,” he said.
“There were plenty of games where I had better stuff. I was able to command a little bit better and Weity did a great job tonight.”
Asked if this one qualified as a big win, Tillman replied, “It’s huge. Every game is huge. No one game is bigger than the other. I’m proud of this team. To be able to score those runs off the kind of pitcher they had out there tonight was impressive. He’s one of the better guys out there right now. It was good to see.”