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October 11, 2018

Christian Yelich

Jesus Aguilar

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Workout Day

Q. For both guys, what, if anything, did you do over the last couple of days to stay sharp in terms of seeing live pitching or did you just sort of want to take a couple days off?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: I mean, we just did the standard workout routine, what we did before the Division Series, a couple extra days. But this time of the year we'll be fine as far as live hitting goes. We had the option to see if you wanted to. If you didn't, great, but we'll be ready to go tomorrow.

JESUS AGUILAR: Like he said, we do what we're supposed to do and going to be ready tomorrow.

Q. Christian, what would you say is Craig Counsell's best attribute that he brings here?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: I think just his demeanor. You know, like so many ups and downs over the course of the baseball season, baseball games, especially in the postseason, and you just need to stay on even keel and don't ride the wave of emotion, whether it's positive or negative. And I think he does a great job of setting that tone for our ball club of, hey, we're just going to stay right where we're at, level-headed, don't get too high, don't get too low, and the guys follow his lead and he's been great for us this year.

Q. How much are you guys aware of his Milwaukee roots, and do you think that plays any role with what he's done?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: We've become more aware of it over the last few weeks. I didn't know he had as deep of roots as he really did. But yeah, it just shows not only how much he cares, but how much we care and how much the people in the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin care about what this team is doing.

It's a great feeling to know that the community is behind us, and the way we've played affects people's lives, positively. If we play well, then there's a genuine happiness around the city, and you feel that as a team and you don't take that lightly. Hopefully we can continue this run for the city and the state.

Q. Christian, could you tell us a little bit about growing up in LA? Were you a Dodger fan? Did you go to Dodger stadium a lot and what's it like to be playing them?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: Yeah. Short answer, it's crazy. Yeah, I mean, I've definitely been to my fair share of Dodger games growing up. Didn't grow up too far from the stadium. That's where I first learned -- or first watched Major League Baseball. I had a lot of friends, family friends, that had season tickets and we'd all go when we were little kids. And you'd go after you played your own baseball game and change out of your uniform in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium to go put on street clothes and go watch the game.

So there's a lot of fond memories there. A lot of friends and family that they always told me growing up that if we ever played the Dodgers in a playoff series that they'd be rooting for me to do well, but us to lose and the Dodgers to win. I think we've converted them. They're all rooting for the Brewers now. I never thought I'd see the day. It's going to be cool for sure.

I was talking about it yesterday, your 10-year-old self probably wouldn't believe what was about to take place here over the next week or so. It's going to be a great opportunity, and something to just have fun with, enjoy and just try and take it all in.

Q. Christian, following up on Tom's question, when you went to Dodger Stadium, does any one game or one moment over your personal visits there as a kid stand out, any player or game?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: I think I was at the game when Gagne blew his save streak, actually. (Laughs) I remember that one pretty vividly. Yeah, it was just I remember watching Shawn Green every team he hit a homer throw his batting gloves into the stands. It was just cool, man. You just hung out with your buddies there one day dreaming to just make it to the Big Leagues and play on that field, let alone have it be in the NLCS with a chance to go to the World Series. And it's all really hard to comprehend and to put into words of like how that feels.

I was talking with friends and family, being like, could you believe like this is actually really happening right now. So it's cool, something I'm really looking forward to, and just really excited.

Q. What impact have Lorenzen Cain and Mike Moustakas made in here given their experience with the Royals? Have they helped you out at all during this season and what's your overall impressions of those two guys?
JESUS AGUILAR: They being in this situation before. That's the best part for us. They are great leaders. They are positive guys and they already show it in the past. We've been playing really good, following those guys. Now we gotta get going. We gotta get going. We got the guy beside me, too. Everybody try to follow those guys and we just try to play really good. Now, we got a good match. Let's see what happens.

CHRISTIAN YELICH: Yeah, I mean, seems like the moment is not too big for those guys. You saw it last series with Moose, just where when you're in those big situations you try and slow it down. Because I feel like they all tend to speed up on you, especially in the postseason, and as a player you just want to slow it down and really just focus on getting the job done and Moose was able to do that. They've both been huge for us all year, great leaders, great teammates and we're going to need them. We're going to need them going forward here in the series and it should be exciting.

Q. You faired really well against Clayton Kershaw in a relatively small sample size. Why do you think that is?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: A lot of luck. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. Tough at-bat every time you face him. It's a battle. You enjoy that as a player, though, going up against the best. Just try and see how you stack up. You enjoy competing and it seems like he really enjoys competing, and it's what it's all about. It's what makes this time of the year really fun. It's what you play for as a player, and like I said, he's a great player, great pitcher. He's had an unbelievable career and we know it's going to be a battle, and when you face a guy like that it's about execution. You're not going to get a whole lot of opportunities, but when you do, you gotta capitalize on them and really do all the little things right.

And we're going to focus on that as a team, and like I said, it's going to be a great battle and I'm really looking forward to it and that's what makes this time of year fun.

Q. Do you recall the couple of times you got to him this year just because of his stature? You've had many good nights and have you figured out his slider?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: I don't think you ever figure out a guy like that. You're just trying to compete, you're trying to battle. He doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes when you're facing him in an at-bat, you may only get a pitch to hit, or two at the most. And you can't miss them. And he's tough on you. Sometimes you don't get anything to hit. He's just going to strike you out. It's just what happens when you face guys like that.

You know, you really have to have a good approach, a good plan. You have to be able to go execute it and like I said, if he makes a mistake, you have to capitalize to it. If he doesn't and you get out, you just gotta keep going, you gotta keep passing the baton and up-and-down throughout the lineup, you gotta keep putting pressure on him. It's gotta be a team effort, somebody we're really going to have to just keep grinding and see what we can get.

Q. Christian, six weeks ago you guys were six games out and it's been three weeks where you haven't lost. In this 11-game win streak, what have you learned about this team? What stands out the most?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: You can accomplish a lot when you're just focusing on the present and one game at a time and not getting caught up in the big picture. I know I've said this repeatedly over and over again, and it's starting to sound like a cliche, but at that point, the most memorable point of this season is where we just said, hey, we gotta focus on tonight and we can't worry about how far back we are, who's winning or who's losing. We need to control what we can control.

And we really just set out as a group focusing all our energy in that day and that night and once we move on, move to the next day and next day and next day and they start to build and add up. And obviously we've seen what's happened in the past and how it's unfolded and we're going to keep that mindset going into this series and we'll see how it works out for us.

Q. Jesus, when you came to Spring Training, you didn't really know what was going to happen. You weren't really sure where you were going to end up. What did you think was going to happen when you got to camp and how satisfied is it to be here now with this team?
JESUS AGUILAR: The only thing I keep in my mind is control what I can control. Just trying to hit it the right way on the field. It's perfect and the happening in the moment, make room for me. The rest is history. Now we're here. We're here to be a championship team. I believe a lot of good things are going to happen.

Q. Christian, in this day and age, a guy who hit as many more home runs in one year compared to the previous year everybody would say, well, did he revamp his swing using the launch angle. You said that's not something you were interested in?

Q. Why not and what do you attribute the difference to if it's not that?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: It definitely wasn't a conscious effort to change launch angle. I never talked about launch angle, never mentioned launch angle. I've had this conversation a lot in the past, and like I've said before in the past, it's going to take us a lot longer than the time we have here to explain it and explain the way of going about it.

But as short as I can be, it's just understanding yourself as a player, understanding what you do when you're succeeding, understanding what you do when you're struggling and trying to lengthen those stretches of when you've been successful and understanding your body positions and what you're doing during those stretches and trying to just apply that and be disciplined in your approach and your routine day to day, stay focused and locked in on what you're trying to accomplish.

And I think that was the biggest thing that happened in the second half was just trying to improve as a player. And like I said, we can have this conversation somewhere down the road where we can get more in depth and really talk about it, but it wasn't a conscious change in launch angle. I know there's a lot of probably hoping that I would say that because that's just the trend in baseball. But it wasn't the case.

Q. Christian, I've been speaking to Brewers fans of Serbian decent here in Milwaukee who feel a special connection to you and are cheering you on and really want to see you succeed. What does that mean to you and how important is your heritage on both of your parents' sides?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: It's cool any time that you can have an impact on anybody's life in a positive direction or bring happiness to a community or a certain group of people. And you don't take that lightly as a team, as a player. You know, honestly, I haven't really done a whole lot of research on my decent or heritage or anything. I've never been to Serbia or anything like that. Yeah, you feel pride in it, and if you can bring happiness to anybody's life, anybody's day, you don't take that lightly.

Q. Jesus, you were here last year. The team was good. But what message did it send to everybody in the clubhouse when they trade for Yelich, they sign Cain, and then during the season it's Moustakas, Schoop, Gio, Granderson. What message came through to you guys?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: They want to win for sure. They made those moves in the off season. That means they want to win, it was really close last year to try to make the postseason. Now with those moves, they show us like they want to battle. They want to battle. They show, we made it. Now we gotta keep going. We got a great team, great guys. Everybody is connecting. That's the most important thing. Now we gotta do magic with the Dodgers. Let's see what happens. It's going to be a good match.

Q. Christian, how much does the dimensions at Marlins Park impact how you went about your at-bats earlier in your career and how much do you think playing here as increased your power?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: Yeah, I think it's definitely been a factor. I think if you just look at the stadium dimensions, Marlins Park is probably one of the bigger ones to the gaps in the middle of the field, and here is more -- it's more fair. It's more of a -- I guess you could say hitter-friendly park. It just allows you to stay within your approach as a player, and you can be rewarded for it and feel like you can leave the ballpark at any part of the field.

And you have that in your head subconsciously when you play in a bigger ballpark that maybe you need to -- pull side is where you're going to have a lot of your power. And just to be able to have a consistent approach all year and really be able to stay locked in on that and be rewarded for it was nice, and like I said, I really enjoy playing here, enjoyed hitting here this year, and hopefully it continues.

Q. Christian, obviously a break-out year for you in a lot of ways, but specifically against left-handed pitching. The Dodgers have quite a few left-handed starters. I was wondering what adjustments did you make, if any, to improve in that area against lefties?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: I think it goes back to just learning yourself as a player and trying to improve and really looking at what you're doing when you have success and what you do when you don't. And they've got some of the best left-handed pitchers in the game, and it's always a challenge. And you just go in and compete, and I think just -- I think competing gets overlooked sometimes, where if you just -- the competitiveness that you bring to a game and an at-bat, it can go a long way. It really can.

If you're just really trying to will it to happen or find a way, I think that gets overlooked a lot in this game. And that's been a big emphasis not only in my game but our team is just to compete as hard as you can at-bat to at-bat, whether you're a position player or pitcher. That's what we've been doing, that's what I've been doing, and it's paid off for us.

Q. Christian, thinking about the last eight, nine months, when you come here a new guy without a huge national profile to now when you're getting MVP chance and starring on the best team in the NL, what does that rise in brighter spot like more attention been like for you?
CHRISTIAN YELICH: It's been fine. It hasn't really changed how you've gone about your day or how you've performed as a player. It's been a crazy year for sure. I think a year ago today, if you'd told me that I would be sitting here talking to all you guys and getting ready to play in the NLCS with everything that's transpired over the last few months, I might have called you crazy, but it's been a great ride. It's been a lot of fun. You're enjoying it as a player. It's been an honor. It's been a great group of guys to go out there and compete with. And we're looking for more. It's been a great story for us up to this point, but I feel like we have a few more steps that we can take as a team and we're looking forward to having that opportunity. Hopefully we can finish off this year on a really high note and have it all come full circle.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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