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October 1, 2011

Ryan Braun

Yovani Gallardo



Q. Yo, how big was the play by Ryan in the first inning and let you settle in? Because it looked like you were struggling a little bit that inning and then you got better.
YOVANI GALLARDO: It was big. He made a great throw. That base hit by Upton. Who knows? That run scores, it might be a whole different ballgame. But I had a bunch of great guys behind me. Kind of like a place like that, with the first inning, and after that I was able to settle in.

Q. How good is the guy sitting next to you?
RYAN BRAUN: You know, I think he's been great his whole career. But I think if you really look at the last month, it's like he's really taken a step forward. He's been dominant. He's throwing the ball better probably the last month better than I've ever seen, and I've seen him since I was in A-ball together. I've had a chance to see him throw a lot. And I think he's really taken a step forward and I'd put him up there with any other ace in baseball, I think. It all starts with the fastball command and he's tough. You know it's going to be a challenge to opposing offense. He's able to locate all four pitches. Consistently gets ahead. Works down in the zone, has command of both sides of the place. It's not a fun day for the offense when he's locating his pitches.

Q. Prince talked about how different it was for him in 2008. What about this team as a whole, how different or better is the team than it was three years ago?
RYAN BRAUN: The experience we had in '08 helped prepare us for this. I think the first time you get to the postseason, everything happens so fast that you don't really know how to prepare yourself. Everybody's routines change. There's a lot going on, off the field, you're figuring out tickets for family and hotel rooms and flights. And a lot of things that you realize take away from what you normally do, your typical preparation.
So I think recognizing that and understanding that is important, to try to maintain our same routine is something that helped all of us today stay relaxed and just treat it like it was another game.

Q. For you what was different this time around than in '08? And personally, Ryan, in the game, Prince talked about how everything felt so magnified the first time through in LA. It felt like a one-time series. Were you much more relaxed playing the game today, personally?
YOVANI GALLARDO: Yeah, for sure. I think just like Brauny said, in '08 it was the first time for all of us, especially it was even tougher for me. It's my second start after coming after surgery. And there's a lot going on. I was excited, a lot of adrenaline. Yet again, I was nervous at the same time.
And having the opportunity here today, it helped me a lot. Just having that experience and trying to slow the game down was huge. During that first inning, I was a little bit too quick, a little bit too anxious. But after that play, there, and the base hit I was able to calm down, relax, and just pitch my game.
RYAN BRAUN: I think for me personally the biggest difference was just being at home this year. In 2008 we were playing at Philadelphia, which is probably one of the most challenging places to open up a postseason series.
It was a huge advantage for us to open here at home, where we're comfortable, where we've had success, having our fans behind us and having that support for all of us. It enabled us to go through our regular routines, be comfortable and be confident.

Q. What was the sun like, the shadows like, and how tough is it for the opposing team that don't have to deal with that element?
RYAN BRAUN: I think it's pretty well documented, it's challenging for an offense. I don't think it's an advantage really one way or another. We really don't play too many games during the year where we deal with it. I think tomorrow will probably be even more challenging than today probably with it being a 4 o'clock start, I guess. But you know when you get ahead it's going to be challenging for the team to come back. It's definitely not easy to see the ball.
YOVANI GALLARDO: For a starting pitcher, just like he said, it's tough. It's tough for me to see the ball coming back, just having the sun there in the background. I was just hoping he didn't throw it in my face and I'd miss it. It's like Brauny said, we had the lead. As far as for myself, I was going to keep going out and be aggressive.

Q. When you were standing on second base when Prince's home run. When they do the first pitch over the plate, did you have any thought, wow, they're pitching to him, do you remember what you thought?
RYAN BRAUN: I was definitely a little bit surprised, but at the same time you recognize it's their ace on the hill. He's had a lot of success all year facing righties, facing lefties, facing All-Star caliber hitters. But Prince doesn't usually get a lot to hit. I think Rickie deserves a lot of credit for that. When you have Rickie in the 5 hole, he's an intimidating presence. And now that he's back healthy, I think it helps to lengthen and solidify our lineup.
Everything is magnified in a game like this. It's easy to look back now and say why did they pitch him, if they'd gotten him out in a crucial situation it looks good for them. It happens.

Q. Ryan, was that your first defensive "beastmode" today, and the fans to see it for the first time? Can you describe the personality of this group.
RYAN BRAUN: We have a lot of fun. We try to enjoy ourselves every day. I think we've created an atmosphere and environment that's conducive to winning and to success. We really enjoy coming to the ballpark.
We have a lot of fun. The "beastmode" thing is something that we do for each other to kind of get fired up whenever something positive happens. And I think it's kind of taken on a life of its own. But it's something that we all enjoy doing.

Q. Ryan, you've seen a lot of Prince's home runs. Have you ever seen him that animated, that fired up?
RYAN BRAUN: I think I was really fortunate I was able to duck in time, because his right hook came quick today. Normally it doesn't come that quick. It really doesn't. He was fired up. He was really excited.
For all of us there was a lot of emotion, a lot of adrenaline. We recognize the importance of getting off to a good start. And that was a huge home run, it turned a 2-0 game to a 4-0 game. It changes the dynamic. And it's arguably the biggest home run he's ever hit.
For all of us we obviously haven't played too many postseason games, and everything you do in the postseason seems to be that much more meaningful.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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