Q. Ron, give us your assessment of Zack today?
RON ROENICKE: I thought Zack threw the ball well. I thought he made a bad pitch to Upton for the homer. The other two homers, not that bad of pitches. They did a nice job of hitting there.
But he threw the ball well overall. I know he gave up four runs, but I was happy with the way he threw.
Q. Could you tell anything different from the short rest, like you guys got him out fairly quick, after they tied it. Was he getting tired?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know if he was getting tired or not. 80 whatever pitches he had. We weren't going to push him much more than that, anyway.
If he had been cruising through and he got through five innings with 70 pitches, thought he was throwing the ball real well, we probably would have let him go back out another inning.
It certainly wasn't his best game, but I thought he threw well. I thought he battled real well. And they did a nice job of hitting.
Q. You made a tough call with Hairston at third, but it's been paying off for you guys. Can you talk about his performance so far?
RON ROENICKE: Another real good game for him. Defensively very aggressive, comes and gets balls when they're chopped. Offensively, nice at bats.
You know, he sees pitches, he's not just up there swinging at everything, but he gives you a nice quality bat. And when it's on the line, you feel really good with him up there.
Q. Is it just coincidence that Greinke is coming up in situations where the squeeze makes sense, and did he execute perfect today?
RON ROENICKE: Great execution, again. He gets in those spots. It's always a tough call for me because I still like him offensively swinging the bat, but he's doing such a good job at the squeeze, that he's in the right spot to do it.
Sometimes you look at your lineups and you have that pitcher after him. If there's not a place to put Luc on, it's a nice play for him.
Q. So many times this year your pitchers have won for you, and low scoring games. Today when your starter went out your offense really picked it up. It must have been nice to see that they kind of took over the game for you today.
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, great to see. Hawk comes in in the 6th, gets a little bit of trouble with the two walks, really makes a nice play in knocking down that line drive, to be really able to get out of that inning.
And then we turn around right after that and explode offensively. Some really good at bats. Corey, Nyjer, through the bunt by Luc. They did a real nice job there.
Q. What did you say about Braun in the first few games? You watch it almost every night, but it's like he doesn't stop.
RON ROENICKE: No, he doesn't stop. You know, that's a good pitcher they have out there and he really puts quality at bats together. To get those hits and again Prince comes up, gets the base hit up the middle to drive in a run.
We did some really good things offensively today. That's a type game where you feel like offensively you're going to keep scoring runs and hopefully because of it, it builds the confidence in the whole lineup, because they all came through today.
Q. This game is kind of an ideal demonstration of the strength of your bullpen. You score repeatedly and then four zeroes from your guys.
RON ROENICKE: That's what we've been doing. I thought our relievers were a little off today, especially walking people. We've been really good at that. But they're still able to make pitches when they need to make pitches.
Hawk comes in, walks a couple of guys, and then makes some pitches to get out of it. Makes a nice play to get out of it. And Frankie always does that. If you walk somebody, get somebody on base, he always has a knack of making a big pitch when he needs to make it. And he's done that through his career.
Q. You said earlier today when you intentionally walk a player, you fire up the batter behind them. Do you think that's what happened today in the 6th inning?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I think it certainly can happen. That's more of a walk Kotsay, it's more of a you've got that base there, if you get a ground ball you have a chance to get a double play. You have a side armer up there with Ziegler. That's the right move to walk him there.
We had a decision where we were thinking maybe to walk Parra and we didn't know if they were going to pinch hit for Hudson there or not or leave him in the game. We ended up pitching to Parra and got him out. But it was a situation where maybe I could have definitely walked him there.
Q. How big was the strikeout of Parra?
RON ROENICKE: Big strikeout. Yeah, he made some real nice pitches there when he needed to. And like I said, we were thinking if he went ball 1, if he goes ball 2, we're going to walk him and make a decision whether to keep Hudson in and let him hit or get a pinch hitter in there. It worked out well for us.
Q. If you look at the numbers, it indicates that you obviously would be in the driver's seat statistically. Do you feel you're in that driver's seat?
RON ROENICKE: We certainly feel comfortable going with the first couple of games that we had. I really liked the way we played.
Going into Arizona, they're going to be tough, just like they were tough today. They're not going to slow down. They're going to keep putting the pressure on us. And they did that and that's what I expect from them in the next game. Of course we'd like to win the first two like we have. And the way we played, I liked both games we played.
Q. Just kind of adding to that. You guys fought so hard for home field advantage and now you won both games. You must feel vindicated in the way you guys pushed to get this home field.
RON ROENICKE: I think it's worked out that way. Not that it always will, but it has worked out that way. I'm happy with, again, how we played at home. And, you know, we've got two tough games here coming up at their ballpark. And we have to continue to get after it like we did these two.
NLDS Game 2 postgame interview: Braun, Hart
Q. Ryan, so many times this year the pitching has carried you guys, and you've scored just enough. But tonight Zack got knocked out a little early and you guys took it over.
RYAN BRAUN: First of all, nice hat, it's a good look for you.
But, yeah, no, I think we've responded well to adversity all year. We found a way to win games and I think you're not always going to dominate on the mound. You're also not always going to score eight or nine runs. But obviously the most important thing is finding a way to continue to compete and ultimately score more runs than the opponent does. And it was nice as an offense to collectively be able to pick up one of them.
Q. You're having a completely different postseason experience than you did in 2008. Is the club better, is there a confidence, what is it?
RYAN BRAUN: I think it's a combination of a lot of things. First of all, we've only played two games, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. It's better to be ahead two games to none rather than down two games to none.
The experience we had in '08 has definitely helped us. But the big opportunity was to open up here at home instead of on the road. We've definitely played well the first two games. I think we were more confident coming into the post season. And we've executed better the first two games.
COREY HART: I think in '08 we kind of limped into the playoffs, we were kind of struggling late. And I think that was kind of the nervousness was always there. We were always kind of worried about winning games and what might happen.
And like Brauny said today, this year we have confidence, we're a better team as a whole. We feel like when we go out there we have a much better chance to win.
Q. In a game like this, that 6th inning, you took advantage of their mistakes. He says a free RBI, but that was really the biggest play. And Jonathan doing what he's asked, a role player?
RYAN BRAUN: I think we've done a pretty good job this year of taking advantage of the other teams' mistakes, as well as situational hitting right there. I think you get a guy on third base, less than two outs, the idea is to put it in play, whether you do a safety squeeze or swinging the bat. The whole goal is to get the runner in.
You have to be aggressive. You force the action and puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. I think Jerry Hairston was thinking about stealing third base. That's why the pitcher ended up balking. You don't do PFP, pitcher fielding practice, this time of year. Sometimes you put pressure on the opponent and it works out well for you.
Q. What does it mean that no matter what, you're going to have another game in front of this crowd, was that push to get home advantage paying off?
COREY HART: Yeah, we've had a good home record season because of the fans. You guys have seen them, as far as the games. It's kind of an incredible feeling to have that kind of support.
The other team feels that. They don't want to be out there in that kind of atmosphere, knowing that they're home, and these guys aren't going to go away. If we come back, they're going to be strong, if not stronger. We love it because they're on our side.
Q. You guys have so often scored with home runs. But that inning you broke it up it was single, single, single. First pitch for you and Nyjer and second pitch for Ryan. You guys had pretty good rat a tat tat going.
COREY HART: They had the momentum after the home run. Jerry was pretty aggressive and Mr. Squeeze always comes through. He always gets the bunt down. Then you just try to take advantage. We found three holes right there and never looked back.
Q. Ryan, can you describe sort of how you're feeling at the plate right now? Do you consider yourself hot or where you're at?
RYAN BRAUN: I'm feeling good. I'm seeing the ball well, I think. I felt whenever I swing at strikes, I give myself pretty good chance to have success. Definitely swinging the bat well. I feel good, I'm swinging the bat well.
Q. Ryan, on the home run, you did "beastmode" to the crowd.
RYAN BRAUN: It's fun. I think the fans have really embraced the personality of our team. I think they embrace specifically the "beastmode" thing. They enjoy it. It's something we do for ourselves. It gets all of us fired up. And I think the fans have really enjoyed being a part of it.
And they've been such an important part of our success here at home, whenever you can get them in the game that much more, I think it's only going to be advantageous for us. They were pretty fired up.
Q. Either of you guys, for the general public it looks like when you guys play it's almost like a Little League team. That's how much fun you seem to be having. Is that the case? And how can that propel you guys through this tournament?
RYAN BRAUN: I think it helps to keep perspective and recognize that we're still playing a game. Obviously the stakes are higher, everything that happens is magnified. But I think it's important to keep that perspective and try to have that youthful exuberance you have when you start playing baseball. We have fun from the time we get to the ballpark to the time that we leave.
And I think it helps keep everybody loose. It really helps to keep our minds off of the magnitude of the games that we're playing. And I think we've done a really good job all year just showing up here, having a good time, laughing, smiling, talking trash and having fun.
Q. How did that balk change that inning, when you see a pitcher who is visibly frustrated on the call, and you seem to take on his first pitches down the stretch, did that have a momentum changing effect?
RYAN BRAUN: Like I said earlier, I think good teams always take advantage of the other team's mistakes, and that was obviously a mistake. It was a completely different inning when you have a guy on third base with nobody out versus a guy on second base and you're probably thinking about moving him over as a hitter. It definitely completely changed the inning for us.
And like I said, good teams have to do that. You have to take advantage of the other team's mistakes. And there's no doubt coming into that inning they had the momentum. Swung the bats well. Justin Upton had a good home run and it was important for us to respond to that.
Q. Every time you have a lead in that 5th, 6th inning, you know it must be lights out. You've got to feel locked up.
COREY HART: Our guys have been incredibly good back there, that's why we've had such a good turn of events, we win the second half, tied up a lot of teams, and I think because of that we kind of took off. If we're winning late in the game we feel like we're going to win. They have that kind of impression on us, and they're a big reason we've had this success.
Q. You guys up 2 0 in the series, the Brewers haven't won a series in 29 years.
RYAN BRAUN: We're excited that we won the first two games, but we could just as easily come back home tied 2 2. The goal was to advance in the postseason, and we haven't accomplished that, so I don't think we're overly excited, but we feel good about the way we've played these first two games. It's a short series. It's important to find a way to win when you're at home. We're off to a good start.
Q. Corey, you've played with Ryan so long, can you speak to the level he's played, and since you guys clinched?
COREY HART: I think we're talking about the difference between '08 and now. We were all kind of young and looking for that impact. And Ryan has been our impact. I mean, he's stepped up his game. But that's helped us as a team. He's a big reason we're at 2 0. You see he wants the big situation, and we like to give it to him.
Q. Ryan, did you notice with Zack at first base, he tried to do a "beastmode." And Corey, maybe you should answer. Could you guys help him with that?
COREY HART: I don't know, I think he's watching Lucroy too much. They're both kind of awkward at it right now.
RYAN BRAUN: I don't think there's much that Zack does that's smooth or cool, we give him a pass for being awkward. He lives his life awkwardly. We'll have to watch replay or something.
NLDS Game 2 postgame interview: Greinke
Q. How did it feel for you going on such short rest and how did you feel that affected your performance?
ZACK GREINKE: It felt real good out there. All my pitches were coming under pretty well and pretty sharp. I guess the fastball must have been a little flat. It felt good coming out. They were hitting the fastball pretty good. They were struggling a little bit on the other stuff. Even decently located fastballs were hit hard sometimes.
Q. You've been asked this so many times, what is it about this team when you take the mound? You said before even when you don't pitch great they just seem to win games.
ZACK GREINKE: Yeah, like today is a perfect example. Didn't really do that great, but we found a way to win the game. Their pitcher is a good pitcher, too. And just never really gave away any at bats today. Just lucky season at home.
Q. What was it like your first playoff start, the anticipation for you, the crowd, what was it like for you?
ZACK GREINKE: It was a lot more normal than I thought it would be. Just kind of felt like a normal game. And maybe focused just a little bit harder on every pitch. But for the most part I was just going on pitching and didn't really have anymore energy or anything than just a normal game.
Q. So many times this year you guys have been a pitching team. You won with pitching. But today the offense really came through. What was it like from your vantage point to see that?
ZACK GREINKE: Well, the last couple weeks of the season, starting maybe the Cincinnati series, it might have been, and our offense has been doing really well. I guess they struggled for a little bit after the All Star break. But it's been doing really well lately.
Getting Rickie back, they're pitching to Prince a lot more. Rickie is putting good at bats. And I think that makes a big difference in the lineup just having him back for our offense.
Q. You come out, Ryan Braun, you see him all year, are you just amazed he keeps going out and doing what he does?
ZACK GREINKE: Yeah, the main thing with Braun is he's just this year he's been consistent the whole time, the whole season he's put good at bats. I don't know if he's even been in a slump like maybe a three game slump or something. But all year long he's been consistent. When he gets hot it's just a little hotter than he normally is. But that's really good, because just when he's normal is better than most people when they're hot sometimes.
NLDS Game 2 postgame interview: Lucroy
Q. What is it about you being in that situation that seems to bring out the best in you?
JONATHAN LUCROY: I work on that a lot at practice and stuff. Just being in the hole I am, the position I am in the lineup, sometimes you're called on to do strange things, especially with the pitcher hitting behind you, and it's a free RBI if you execute. And I really work hard to try to get that down and it's worked out for me.
Q. You said earlier in the season that you weren't a very good bunter, you continue to come through on this play.
JONATHAN LUCROY: I'm not a good sac bunter, safety squeeze, all you've got to do is get it down to their area. I'm not good at being soft with it.
Q. When you dropped that ball, did you know that was going to get the run home as soon as it caught the bat?
JONATHAN LUCROY: Yeah, I figured it would, especially when he made that kind of off balance throw he did. I knew it was a tough play to make.
Like I said, if you execute correctly, it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll get a run out of that. So I just got it done right.
Q. Has this pretty much been as you guys scripted the first two games; could anything else have gone better for you?
JONATHAN LUCROY: I mean, you know, the team's tough. It's a good team over there. I'm glad we're playing good against them. They've got some good starting pitching. We jumped up on them and put them away. They're tough. They're a tough team. They battle, they fight. They don't ever give up.
Yeah, it feels good to get these two out of the way, but we've still got to win one more. It's not over yet.
Q. How is Zack? Could you tell again he was pitching short?
JONATHAN LUCROY: Yeah, his velocity was up. I don't think his control was there today, his command. It wasn't as good as I've seen it. But for the most part he did his job, he kept us right there. We scored early on, and he didn't let it get past our lead. We ended up tying the game. After that it's a brand new ballgame all over again.
He did a job for me tonight personally. He kept it there and gave us a chance to win and a chance to tack on. That's all you can really ask out of him.
Q. I guess after the game it was, like Kennedy said something that you weren't a very good hitter, that's the reason he pitched to you, is there any vindication, you heard him, both swinging and bunting, the first two games?
JONATHAN LUCROY: It don't matter to me. I just like to win. Whether it's conventionally or unconventionally, I'll take a win any day.
Q. Justin Upton tied the game, and they've had a knack of coming back in games. How important was the 6th and what do you think the balk did about the complex of the game?
JONATHAN LUCROY: It made it exciting. He hit that pretty well. He took advantage of that mistake. I think that says a lot. All it is is a mistake pitch, really.
For me, it made the game interesting, for sure. It was fun to watch. It was a lot of fun to be in, especially when we pulled ahead by that one big inning. It made the game exciting. It made the game fun.
That team battles and fights. They're not going to ever give up. Those guys get after it over there.
Q. The runs at numerous times during the season when the bottom of the order is hitting and getting on base they score a lot of runs, that obviously was the case again today.
JONATHAN LUCROY: Yuni hit a good bat against Ziegler. Jerry has been awesome right there. And like I said, for me I'm just trying to get in there and do a job, whatever I'm called upon.
I've had the I haven't had the best at bats lately, but I'm trying to do whatever helps the team win. Whatever it takes. If we can get on base with those big guys, and 2, 3, 4 hole, that's the key a lot of times. Especially when he pitches around those guys so much. That means they've got to pitch to them, when we're on base in front of them. Like Corey and Nyjer.
Q. You mentioned Hairston, how much is putting him in the bottom of the order helped him in that lineup?
JONATHAN LUCROY: I think it's great. It puts a contact guy. He knows what he's doing, he's a professional hitter. He has a real good idea what he's doing at the plate. I think it helps our team out as a whole. You can't really ask for anything else for him lately. He's been awesome lately. He's been really key to us lately. And he's doing a really good job for us.
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