Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I could see it in everybody's eyes today when they came to BP. There were a lot of happy faces. I think the game we won [on Sunday] helped us today. We know that we'll never give it up, and we're going to be better down the stretch."
-- Miguel Tejada on the Astros' offensive outburst on Monday night against San Diego. Tejada went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, and the team collected 13 hits and scored 10 runs. (Houston Chronicle)
"These guys have a great idea how to pitch, but they're figuring out that this is a very difficult league to pitch in. They're going to have to continue to go out there and figure out how to do it. We can talk to them and tell them how to do it, but you have to go out there and be mentally tough enough to get through certain situations. They're working hard. It's a long season and it's a battle, so you can't get down."
-- Andy Pettitte on young fellow pitchers Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, who have both been up and down this season for the club. (New York Daily News)
"I didn't want to disrespect Travis Hafner. He was the last guy to do it for us. He didn't thank me, but I know he's pretty happy."
-- Casey Blake, who had a single, home run and two doubles for the Indians on Tuesday night, leaving him just a triple short of a cycle. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"It's possible to have good at-bats without hits. Carlos has been a guy who has been very competitive in that he has not gotten himself out as much. During that Phillies series, one day, he was like 12 inches total from having three or four hits. Those things change the numbers. Those are good, quality at-bats. ... He wasn't getting himself out like the Carlos of last year. Last year I saw him get himself out a lot - when you're ahead in the count chasing balls you shouldn't be chasing."
--New York Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson on first baseman Carlos Delgado, who is barely hitting better than .200 but has hit the ball hard throughout the season. (New York Daily News)
"I've faced adversity in about every start I've had this year. I felt a lot more comfortable when there were people on base [than in past games]. I'm not sure why that was, but I had command of all four pitches."
-- Clay Buchholz commenting on throwing six scoreless innings in his start for Boston on Monday night and pitching out of some trouble in the process.. (Boston Herald)
"It's cool. I feel good over there."
-- Miguel Cabrera, formerly their third baseman, on his position switch with Carlos Guillen, who had previously been playing first base. (Detroit News)
"I feel my stuff is better than it has ever been. I'm going to keep mixing and enjoying it."
-- Micah Owings after his start Monday night, his fourth straight quality start. Owings now has an ERA of 2.42 this season. (East Valley Tribune)
"I wanted to come over here and show everybody what I could do ... that I'm one of the better guys out there for a setup guy. I wanted my teammates to know they could have faith in me. That's more important than anything -- the respect of my teammates."
-- Chad Qualls on what helps motivate him when he takes the mound for the D-backs. Qualls, acquired from Houston during the offseason, has a 0.00 ERA this season. (East Valley Tribune)
"I'd been looking forward to meeting him. We joked about I get his baseball cards [to sign] and he gets mine. But the worst part was that I got his card here in our parking lot."
-- Brian Anderson, former pitcher and now Tampa Bay's assistant to the pitching coach, on meeting Chicago White sox outfielder Brian Anderson. (St. Petersburg Times)
"I know it's been 10 years since I played in the middle of the infield, but, when you play that position before, you pretty much have an idea where to play."
-- Albert Pujols, after playing four innings at second base in the Cardinals' 12-inning, 9-8 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I'm taking it back. I was going too fast. I was so happy with last night, so I was talking about the World Series. It's very early. We're doing great. We have to keep going and play hard."
-- Ronny Cedeno, after saying one day earlier that the Cubs would be in the World Series. (Chicago Tribune)
"The way I was pitching, I wished something was wrong. I was hoping something would be hurting. But that wasn't the case."
-- C.C. Sabathia, after it was suggested that his slow start was possibly related to an injury. He ended that talk on Tuesday night with six shutout innings against the Kansas City Royals in the Indians 15-1 victory. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"I don't know how you explain it. I have no idea. And I really don't even want to think about how. I just like the fact that the ball seems to find holes when I face him."
-- Craig Monroe, after getting in the Twins lineup against the A's Joe Blanton on Tuesday night. As the Twins designated hitter, Monroe had three hits off of Blanton and now has 10 hits in 14 career at-bats off of him. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"It's good to be back in the big leagues, and it was good to contribute."
-- Jerry Hairston Jr. after getting four hits for the Reds on Tuesday night -- matching a career high --in the wake of being recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Hairston, who was batting .421 at Louisville, also drove in three runs. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"I had all kinds of thoughts on what pitch I wanted it to be on. That's dangerous as a pitcher, because you've just got to throw the pitch you think will get it out. I did it on a split, that's about the only thing I remember from that at-bat."
-- John Smoltz on recording his 3,000th strikeout. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"The fastball wasn't as sharp as last time, but I threw offspeed pitches behind in the count. I'm just more focused. I don't want to be walking around the mound, kicking dirt and taking 15-18 seconds between pitches. I don't want to overthink. I want to throw strikes and stay down in the zone."
-- Scott Olsen on how his quicker tempo led to a strong seven-inning performance in which he allowed just one run. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"It was really special. I've watched him since I was a little kid. It was good to be a part of it."
--Nationals pitcher John Lannan on being the opposing pitcher on the night John Smoltz joined the 3,000-strikeout club. Lannan earned the win with seven shutout innings. (Washington Post)
"He's a sponge. This kid's not going to be a utility player. As his career unfolds, he's probably going to be an everyday player unless something happens to him physically."
--Dodgers coach Larry Bowa on infielder Chin-lung Hu. (Los Angeles Times)
"All the guys in here know what I was going through. There's no judging going on. Obviously, I'd like to be healthy and do what I'm capable of doing."
-- Aaron Rowand on playing with a cracked rib. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"That was the greatest catch I've ever seen. Wow! What a great experience for me to be able to see that! No words can describe how I feel. He saved me right there."
-- Francisco Rodriguez on a home-run saving catch by Torii Hunter. (Los Angeles Times)
"Chavvy does have six Gold Gloves. That's good enough to be king."
--A's pitcher Andrew Brown on how he and closer Huston Street sometimes use bobblehead dolls of Eric Chavez to take the place of the king in their games of chess. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It's been tough. I'm thankful I'm a little older. I'm able to deal with it. My family is here -- that's one of the hardest parts. They flew in [from Nashville] to stay with the team during the homestand here. It's harder for them than it is for me."
--Mariners pitcher R.A. Dickey on being sent to Triple-A when closer J.J. Putz was activated. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.