Before Saturday afternoon's game I had a chance to speak with Matt Diaz about his season and the struggles of this Braves team.
Martin Gandy: You're having a good year personally and a bad year as a team, how do you reconcile those two?
Matt Diaz: I don't think you do. When you go on winning streaks individuals are doing well, so that the key, just trying to find a way to help the team win. Of course this year I'm happier with my personal performance than I ever have been in the Major Leagues, but I'm still disappointed that we're not closer into this playoff race than we are.
MG: What's been the biggest disappointment so far?
MD: We feel we're better than we've been playing, and we're not living up to our own expectations, so that's been tough.
MG: How has that affected your confidence and the team's confidence?
MD: It's a daily game. With baseball you don't get the luxury of letting your confidence go up and down, you've just got to come to the field the next day expecting to win, and that's what we do. Every single day it's the same thing, where you can't let the night before carry into the next day.
MG: What is the media not focusing on with this team?
MD: The media early on was focusing so much on our bullpen problems, and that's not the only problem. The problem is this is a team game and we haven't done things as a team, we haven't driven in the runs when we've needed to on offense, and that's been my biggest flaw personally this year is I haven't driven in the runs when I've had a chance to.
MG: Is it hard to keep answering these questions day after day?
MD: It is, it is, and for me personally it's been three or four years of answering the same questions because of the problems with the Royals and Tampa Bay. So that's frustrating, you want to win and have the media talk about more positive things, but we understand when we're not winning we have to face these questions.
MG: Make a prediction of where this team will finish?
MD: Until we're mathematically out of it we're going to predict that we're going to make a run at this thing and finish at the top of the Wild Card.