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October 11, 2018

Gio Gonzalez

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Workout Day

Q. Gio, I was looking at your day-by-day with Washington. You did not face the Dodgers this year. I assume that's correct. Did you just miss them a couple of times or how did that work? But I see you have a very nice career record against them. Are they a team you think you match up well against?
GIO GONZALEZ: Great question. I do not mess with the scheduling for Washington. I do not know what happened. But it's a good lineup. I'm sure they have numerous amount of guys that they can move around and put pieces together. So our job is to minimize the damage as much as possible.

Q. Gio, after not getting into the Division Series round, what did you think when they told you Game 1, here you go?
GIO GONZALEZ: Get my bullpen in, get as much throwing in, and from what I see, they didn't need me in the first round. I think our starters did a great job, and our bullpen obviously hands down is the best bullpen in baseball.

Q. Gio, going back just to August 31st?

Q. Way back, yes. How unlikely does it seem -- you're out of Washington, in Milwaukee, starting Game 1 in the NLCS. In that context, how unlikely does it seem for you to be sitting here right now?
GIO GONZALEZ: Exactly what it sounds like. Right now August 31st is August 31st, but now we're, what, October 10th or 11th, ready to go and pitching Game 1. It's a pretty cool story. From my perspective, it's pretty cool to represent the Brewers, and exactly what it is. They wanted me to be a part of this, and I was excited to know that I'll be going in the second round.

Q. Gio, you've obviously faced Yelich a lot when you guys were both in the East. How much different of a hitter is he now than the guy that you faced when he was just coming up with the Marlins?
GIO GONZALEZ: He's a completely different hitter. He's in a smaller ballpark. He's not batting in a 500 all around field. I mean, that's a big ballpark in Miami. So it's beneficial sometimes for the pitcher. But I think he's been the same hitter from when I faced him before. He's unbelievable. I think he's an incredible silent hitter. There's not much movement in his hands. He's just got an approach that he has on you, and he feels that -- he picks up whatever he needs to pick up as far as hitting and what he sees and what he wants to do to certain pitchers.

So for me, he also has that protection in the front and protection in the back of the lineup that's going to help him out, I mean, which he had the same in Miami. I think he's still a phenomenal hitter.

Q. Gio, when you left D.C., you mentioned a change of scenery could be good. What has that meant for you in the last month, and what do you think you've done in that time to earn the trust to get the start in this game?
GIO GONZALEZ: I don't know. I couldn't explain what was going on. I just wanted to pitch, and I think this team helped me out. Guys were making great plays. Guys were helping me out. Bullpen was unbelievable, so you knew that it was immediately just you can go as long as you want and then you have the bullpen to kind of pick it up from there. That was a safe haven over there.

So for me, I mean, it doesn't take away from the guys that I got to play with in Washington. They were phenomenal, and I built such a great relationship with guys over there. And now I'm hoping to do the same thing here in Milwaukee. These guys have been great. They've been brothers to me, and they've treated me like I was one of the guys since the moment I arrived here, and to get some text messages and stuff like that from guys that I played with in the past and that are playing now with Milwaukee.

So it was kind of cool to know that they wanted me right away and they brought me in. So I can only be thankful and grateful for what I'm doing now.

Q. Gio, one of the underrated things about the Brewers this year has been how good the defense has been even though they play a lot of different guys and moved guys around a lot. And coming over to the team when you did, what has stood out to you not about the individual players but the way the game-planning works and the defensive and pitching plan working together?
GIO GONZALEZ: I think the coaching staff does a great job putting the players where they want. Plus you got some guys with some Gold Glove caliber defense. In the outfield you're 100 percent feeling comfortable that anything hit in the air, it's pretty much going to be caught. And then in the infield, from corner to corner, I think it's unbelievable. Guys are playing positions they've never played before and they're doing great plays. T-Shaw was unbelievable. He made some great plays in round one.

So to see that kind of stuff -- and Orlando is unbelievable. Schoop, another guy out of the bench if we need him. Moose has been great, and then Aggy. Aggy's been making some diving plays that kind of saved our tail a couple of times.

Q. Gio, from your last start against the Tigers, at this particular point in time can you share what you've done since then in terms of how you've mapped out your bullpens and your throwing program just to stay sharp since your last start against the Tigers?
GIO GONZALEZ: I think I had one kind of up-and-down session in round one against the Rockies where I was in the bullpen kind of getting warmed up, kind of getting going. But as far as what I've been working on with D.J. has been great. He's been helping me out big time with my mechanics, certain tweaks he's done with just my footing and stuff like that. So I give him a lot of credit for that particular reason. He helped me change a big part of the way my season was going. He helped that big time and put me in the right direction.

And I was just trying to use that as much in my momentum as possible, worked a little bit yesterday in my bullpen, and still there's little things that I want to keep working on and it's been great. So I just try to stay loose, keep throwing.

Q. Gio, even in the six weeks you've been here, you've seen some creative stuff done with the pitching, a bullpen game in St. Louis, the bullpen in Game 1 of the Division Series. As a player do you have to be a little more on your toes when you know this is an organization that maybe is going to surprise you from time to time?
GIO GONZALEZ: I think for me it just sets the tone. It definitely lets you know how valuable and how important our bullpen is. These guys are phenomenal. Any one of these guys can literally lead the game and start the game off. So you've got guys that have pitched in regular-season starters and then you have guys that are just full-time bullpen guys. So for me it's pretty cool what's going on.

Wade Miley has been incredible, and Chacin deserves every credit in the world right now. He's a big reason why we're here and he's done phenomenal. I think he's definitely been our horse. And then Wade, Zach, even Chase Anderson has been phenomenal. I think just piggybacking behind these guys has been great.

Q. Farhan Zaidi was with you there in Oakland for a little bit. Wondering how well you and he knew each other, and is the fact that you're going to be facing the Dodgers here where he's the GM is anything special to you?
GIO GONZALEZ: It's always nice to see Bobby. Bobby is a good dude. He's known me for my career. He's seen me when I was a young kid with no facial hair and now two kids later and a beautiful wife. I think it's pretty cool to say that we've seen each other for over 10 years, and baseball has a funny way of kind of introducing us back together, and I think it's pretty cool, just try to do my best not to show him all the good stuff.

Q. Gio, a lot of fans around the country like to think that they're the best fans in baseball, but what are your impressions early on the Milwaukee Brewer fans and what's it been like for you here in Milwaukee?
GIO GONZALEZ: I think they're extremely classy. I think they're very polite. They love their players. I haven't been here long, and from the greetings that I get in places I go to to eat and certain restaurants and even where I'm staying at, the people are absolutely super nice, super kind. My Uber drivers are really nice, too. They're big fans.

So it's kind of cool to know that the whole city is behind us and the way we get our support, it's incredible. It's nice what they're doing. It's appreciated. These guys, they understand -- every single one of the fans understand what's at stake and they're enjoying the ride just like we are.

Q. Gio, you played with one of the great players in the game, Bryce Harper, but you arrived here just in time to see Christian Yelich lose his mind for a month. What was that like watching him on a daily basis, and did you pitchers talk about, man, I'm glad I don't have to try to get him out right now?
GIO GONZALEZ: Yeah, he's been red hot. I think even when I was with Washington, he was talked about that he was red hot. And it showed. I mean, he had one at-bat that literally cashed in a couple runs that changed the whole game, won the game there. And what he did against the Cardinals, what he did against the Cubs, I mean he's been red hot.

But again, it doesn't also take away from the other guys in the lineup. I mean, every single one of those guys in the lineup. T-Shaw has over 30 home runs. Aggy has over 30 homers. Even guys on the bench that are dying to go up there and bat can easily hit a couple home run that can win us the game. Moustakas has been incredible. Braun was huge for us. Lo Cain, lead off batter. I mean, just -- naming every single one of these guys, it's not easy. It's definitely tough to play and a tough lineup to face so definitely have to have your A game against guys like us.

Q. Gio, knowing that you might only need to go three or four innings, that's all they really want of you, how much does that change your approach coming into a start and during a start as well?
GIO GONZALEZ: You gotta give them the best you got and the way I told Counsell, any way you need me, any style of pitching, I'm in. This is an opportunity I get to share with a bunch of great guys, and hopefully we can continue our success and keep riding the high that we're living right now.

So I think that for me, it's -- I want to be a part of it any way possible, and I think that whatever Counsell needs me to do to pitch and get outs, I want to be there, no matter how many innings I gotta go. And again, with this bullpen it makes it really easy to kind of like say, all right, we're all right. We're good to go.

Q. Gio, what are the biggest takeaways from your past postseason starts and do you feel like you have something to prove as a playoff starter?
GIO GONZALEZ: I just want to pitch. I'm grateful I get to pitch another postseason game and with another team now. Again, I was almost on my way home the end of September. So to sit here, and I'm pitching Game 1 of the second round, I think that's -- it's pretty remarkable, pretty incredible, and hopefully I get to tell my kids about this one day.

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