On fence for playoff roster, pinch-hitter comes through in seventh inning
LOS ANGELES -- Even with the sting of a season-ending loss to the Dodgers still on his mind Monday night, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez managed to find the silver lining after Atlanta's 4-3 loss in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
Gonzalez was throughly impressed with his team's resilience in the seventh inning to come back and take a 3-2 lead, even though it didn't last.
With the score tied 2and Elliot Johnson on third with one out after a triple down the right-field line, Jose Constanza pinch-hit and knocked a go-ahead single to center field off of Dodgers right-hander Ronald Belisario.
"Pinch-hitting there, we felt good, big at‑bat, big RBI single there put us ahead," Gonzalez said. "But, yeah, you've got to give all the credit to my coaching staff, because they talked me into putting him on the 25-man roster."
Constanza had success as a pinch-hitter during the regular season, going 4-for-9 with two RBIs.
"You know, it took us about five, six days to settle on our roster for the series," Gonzalez said. "Constanza was in consideration and our coaching staff really wanted him on the roster.
"They said this guy puts the ball in play, and in the postseason, you need somebody to put the ball in play."
In 21 games during the regular season, Constanza hit .258 (8-for-31) with three RBIs and only five strikeouts.
"We tried to leave the righty [Belisario] in for the kid," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I thought that kid, I've seen him before, I've seen him on tape. I knew he could hit."