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October 1, 2011

Ron Roenicke



Q. Ron, Gallardo pitched a wonderful ballgame. In the first inning it looked like his command wasn't too sharp at that time.
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, I think that first inning he came out he was a little off in his command. Brauny made a huge play in left to throw out the guy at the plate. And gave Yo some confidence to go back out and get the command down, which he did the rest of the game.

Q. After that how was he? Looked like he got crisper and crisper. You said for a long time he's been throwing the ball as good as you've seen him. And obviously he's had a great success against the Diamondbacks.
RON ROENICKE: Outstanding fastball, the life on it, the location was great. Mixed in some huge breaking pitches at times, great curveball. The slider, threw some real good sliders. And really pitched off his fastball, commanded that really well.

Q. It appeared that Hairston was the correct choice at third base. Will that performance give him a start tomorrow?
RON ROENICKE: We'll decide on what we're doing tomorrow. Jerry had a great game. Defensively made a couple of outstanding plays. Big at-bat with the bases loaded there. If he doesn't hit that ball right at somebody we score a lot of runs there. But line drive right at center. Had another good at-bat.
So, a nice game for him. You know, sometimes you're not sure what to do and you put a guy there and he has a nice game and makes you feel good.

Q. Were you pleasantly surprised they pitched to Prince and do you anticipate that will be the last time they do so?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know. It's always a discussion when you're going to walk to somebody, to put an extra runner on base to get to that next guy. And we have those conversations all the time. We go in and face St. Louis and do we walk Pujols. And we have all these guys hitting behind him. Early in the game do you pitch to him? Late in the game what do you do? They're tough calls. They're easy to second-guess. Afterward you can say, oh, why is he pitching to Prince. Those decisions are not easy when you have to make them before he is at bat instead of after.

Q. You got good production out of the bottom of your lineup on the second run, when Betancourt and Lucroy came through for you.
RON ROENICKE: Those were nice. Lucroy hit well. He hit the bullet to his last at-bat. We talk about those guys, when they're swinging the bats, we're going to be really good offensively. Our same two big boys hit well early, Brauny and Prince. And that set it up for us.

Q. How good was Kennedy today? I mean, that was really shaping up as a great pitching duel, it was until Fielder's home run. How tough was he, and did Braun play a role in cracking him?
RON ROENICKE: Brauny got to him. We got a little break there, too, with Brauny, not squaring them up. Brauny, great day at the plate.
Kennedy was really good again. This guy is having some kind of a year. He commands his fastball as good as anybody in the League. And he pitches off of that. He's got a great change-up. But it's because he commands his fastball so well. Great change-up, and he mixes in enough off speed with the breaking ball that you have to think about it.
So with that kind of command he's so down in the zone all the time. He rarely leaves it up. He's a really good pitcher.

Q. What sort of pitching would Yovani have needed to finish the game?
RON ROENICKE: He was in a pitch count where we could have left him out there. I think we always talk about where we are in the 8th, 9th inning with our two guys out there. I don't know why you need to push your starters when you have those two guys out there. That was probably more than worrying about Yo and how many pitches he had. I think the next time Yo goes out there we know we didn't push him in this ballgame. And it makes a difference to me.

Q. How important is it for your two stars to produce like they did today? Conversely, when a team is in a playoff series, when your stars don't produce how difficult does that make it?
RON ROENICKE: You're right. If your stars don't produce you're putting a lot of pressure on everybody else to try to pick it up. That's not how we rolled this year. We rolled because Brauny and Prince did their thing and everybody else fit in well with either getting on base for them or contributing down in the bottom of the order. When we contribute down at the bottom of the order, we usually score a lot of runs.

Q. You talk about Braun and the at-bats he had today. How cool was he the first inning, when it looked like Kennedy was rolling early, when he got him to 8, 9 pitches in the inning, and Yuniesky got a big hit today, but at the same time he reminded take a look at Braun, take a look at somebody that challenges the pitcher and not rush to take the first swing at some of those?
RON ROENICKE: Those conversations have been happening for years with Yuni (laughter). It's not the time we get in the playoffs and you bring that up. You've talked to him about it.
But it's -- you know, it's an ongoing thing. And Yuni is really -- Yuni is swinging the bat well. And Yuni, when he's aggressive, he swings it better. So it's always an interesting conversation.

Q. It always seems like he's coming up with two guys on base and two outs. Do you sometimes say to yourself, seems like he's always coming up with two guys on and two outs?
RON ROENICKE: He does come up with some people on. It's nice to see Yuni, when you've got a guy that is going to give him, you know, some pitches that are kind of in that zone, you know, because you know that first swing is going to happen.
But I like the way he's playing. I like the way he's feeling. He's very confident. And we'll try to keep him that way.

Q. Being that that is such a tough decision, do we pitch to Prince or do we not, were you surprised that they didn't hold up for him?
RON ROENICKE: I don't want to say whether I was surprised or not. I think there are decisions that happen that sometimes I may feel like, hey, I would have done it this way.
But really, what it comes down to is Gibby knows his team better than anybody knows it. I know we all see afterwards what the results are, but nobody knows his team better than he does. And if that has worked for him this year, and that formula has got them to where they are, they've been on a roll, I think he knows what he wants to do and knows what has worked.

Q. Have you ever seen P that fired up before?
RON ROENICKE: He's been fired up lately, the last few games of the regular season he was fired up also.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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