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October 14, 2018

Craig Counsell

Los Angeles, California - Workout Day

Q. How big a factor has Chacin been to the team's success this season? And what motivated the Brewers to contact him when he was a free agent?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Jhoulys has been as much as we could ever hope for when we signed him this winter. He was a player that, really, I know some members of our front office have liked for a long time and followed closely for a long time. So I think it was a player that they had targeted and we had targeted for a while. And so we were always excited to get him.

What he's really been, he's just been a very stabilizing presence for us. He's taken the ball every fifth day, so to speak, and delivered good results. During the course of 162 games you need that. You need guys that are going to take the ball every fifth day. You need that consistency, that durability.

And then on top of that as the season's gone on, he's just pitched wonderfully, and especially in some really big games he's pitched wonderfully.

He's been just an anchor I would call him to our pitching staff and somebody very important.

Q. Taking for granted nobody can stay as hot as Christian Yelich was, really, the whole second half. Do you see anything different from how they pitch him? I know it's two games.
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, look, I think they've pitched him well. But I'm not seeing anything different. You're seeing kind of the same attack plan. If anything, what you've seen is you've seen -- I've seen just more foul balls. So I think he's -- the couple of pitches he may have got to hit he's fouled them off. Look, in games like this against pitchers like this, you don't expect to get a ton of pitches to hit. So sometimes the foul ball is the pitch you had to hit, and then it's kind of you get into battle mode a little bit.

And I would give -- if I would surmise a seven at-bat, eight at-bat stretch, that's how I would. But I'm confident we're going to see a big hit from Christian in the next couple of days.

Q. At this particular point in time can you say anything about your Game 4 pitching plan?
CRAIG COUNSELL: No, we're going to go through Game 3 and I don't know until after Game 3.

Q. Could it be a bullpen situation or like an initial out-getter kind of situation?
CRAIG COUNSELL: I mean you can describe it any way you'd like, yeah. We'll put together some way to get 27 outs. I don't mean to be coy about it, that's how we're looking at it. And there's several candidates for it. But we're going to use all our resources in Game 3 and then move on to Game 4.

Q. I kind of want to touch on Game 3 and just how much you might want or need from Chacin given that you have three games in three consecutive days. Are you going to look for as much length as you did out of Miley or a shorter stint?
CRAIG COUNSELL: No, I don't think any of us go into these playoff games knowing -- you don't know what's going to happen. You have to read the game as it's going on. And we'll do the same thing. Jhoulys is capable of going deep into the game, and that's ideal. But I think you also have to watch the game and see what's going on. And we'll be fresh tomorrow and ready to go, so that's good.

I don't think at this point that -- you think about tomorrow's game is important, but I think it's, you know, you're also willing to, if you've got wins kind of under your belt you're going to go for it, yeah, or close to it, you're going to go for it.

Q. With that in mind, how much do you approach Hader a little differently, with three days in a row with no off days? Would three innings be kind of an unlikely thing or how would you manage him going forward?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, again, I couldn't tell you I have a set plan on it. But we know we have three games in a row. We know we've got to have pitching for three days. I'm not concerned about having guys that can get outs for three days. Like I said, so if you've got a win within reach, you try to capture it.

Q. Does it become problematic at all to use Freddy? I can't remember the last time he pitched. Or is he just getting the work that he needs to be ready to throw for you?
CRAIG COUNSELL: No, no, I expect Freddy to be involved the next three days. It's really a function of how well that we've pitched, how well, you know, starts like Jhoulys has had, outings like Brandon Woodruff has had, and Wade starts. That's the reason why Freddy has not pitched.

Yesterday was the first time we were trailing in a game since, you know, the regular season ended. The last two innings of the game. So we've just been in a good spot with our pitching, we haven't let up many runs and we've been in a good spot. And that's just where Freddy is at. Freddy is ready to go, and I expect when he gets out there one of these next three days, we're going to see a really good version of him.

Q. You were saying if there's a win then you have to go grab that win. But how much do you have to balance maybe who you have for Game 4 or Game 5 going forward or is that the philosophy, just win today?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, I think we believe we have guys, that's the reason why you have multiple guys with kind of length associated with them in the bullpen, or on our active roster, I should say. And so we think we have a way to map out the game no matter what we have to do the night before.

And we're not going to get through -- unless there's a crazy extra-inning game or a really long game, I can't envision us having a good game plan that we haven't talked about, ready to put forth the next day.

Q. After we talked to you in the interview room, J. J. was very frustrated, as any pitcher would be that just had a tough game. It sounded like he might have said some things that he regretted about lucky hits because of the soft contact stuff. So he kind of walked it back today, it looked like, on social media. Because he's kind of an emotional guy, is the roller coaster thing tougher in the postseason or do you sense that he's frustrated because he has not had the greatest luck overall in the postseason?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, baseball, luck in pitchers, it's part of your life. There's times when you have to realize it's working for you. You don't want to acknowledge it when the line drive gets hit at somebody. But there's times when the slow roller, as Chris Taylor's ball, it's frustrating, you make a good pitch, the guy hits it 40 feet, it's frustrating. And when the next guy hits a homer it's really frustrating.

He's frustrated by that, understandably so. Pederson hit a pop-up that falls between the fielders. So a couple of frustrating balls. And I do think, look, the postseason is more emotional. There's no getting around that. And we're not always going to hide from that. And nobody is going to say it's not, because it is.

I think in most time -- for a guy like J.J., I think it works, I think it works for him. He hasn't had the results so far. But he's going to get the ball again. We're going to need him to get outs. I'll tell you that for this to work we need to count on our guys. And we're going to continue to.

Q. That means Corbin Burnes, too, he's been fantastic, has one rough outing.
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, and that's exactly right. We can't bail on a rough outing or two rough outings. We need these guys. They've performed at really high levels for us for a long stretch of time. And I think we have to be -- that's the balance of the playoffs, right? Taking the last result and changing your decision-making based on the last result because it feels different. And we've got to treat it the same. And we've got to trust our players who got us to this point. And we'll continue to do that.

Q. That's not hard for you at all, is it, Craig?
CRAIG COUNSELL: No, I think because it's why we're here. It's why we're here.

Q. You mentioned the playoffs being an emotional time. How does Chacin's presence in the clubhouse help to kind of mitigate or channel some of that emotion?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Yeah, Jhoulys is a pretty -- he's got two sides to him. He's a very mellow, fun loving, happy guy. Really, up until the second he kind of steps over the white line, and then he's a great competitor. Which has been fun to learn.

You hear things about players kind of before you get them. And it's been fun to watch. It's a thrill to watch competitors for me. And Jhoulys is a true competitor, he really is. And he's out on the mound thinking of ways to beat you. And sometimes it's a creative -- and we've seen it all year. He's got a number of different tricks in his bag, so to speak, that he goes to to get outs. And I enjoy that. It's gamesmanship, it's competitiveness, it's creativity on the mound. And that's a cool way to watch baseball. It's a cool way to pitch. It really is.

Q. Because things are so serious the postseason, sometimes we forget about the really light moments. Did you see what Aggie did yesterday?

Q. What was the reaction to that?
CRAIG COUNSELL: Well, the reaction on the mound was we -- I was not looking at Corbin Burnes coming in the game. All six of us on the mound were saying, Look at Aggie, man (laughter). Isn't that just like Aggie? We were laughing at Aggie. We were all watching him. And I think Corbin had to turn around and hand him the ball. Because we were watching Aggie ham it up, as he's really good at doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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