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October 2, 2011

Ryan Braun

Corey Hart



Q. Ryan, so many times this year the pitching has carried you guys, and you've scored just enough. But tonight Zack got knocked out a little early and you guys took it over.
RYAN BRAUN: First of all, nice hat, it's a good look for you.
But, yeah, no, I think we've responded well to adversity all year. We found a way to win games and I think you're not always going to dominate on the mound. You're also not always going to score eight or nine runs. But obviously the most important thing is finding a way to continue to compete and ultimately score more runs than the opponent does. And it was nice as an offense to collectively be able to pick up one of them.

Q. You're having a completely different postseason experience than you did in 2008. Is the club better, is there a confidence, what is it?
RYAN BRAUN: I think it's a combination of a lot of things. First of all, we've only played two games, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. It's better to be ahead two games to none rather than down two games to none.
The experience we had in '08 has definitely helped us. But the big opportunity was to open up here at home instead of on the road. We've definitely played well the first two games. I think we were more confident coming into the post-season. And we've executed better the first two games.
COREY HART: I think in '08 we kind of limped into the playoffs, we were kind of struggling late. And I think that was kind of the nervousness was always there. We were always kind of worried about winning games and what might happen.
And like Brauny said today, this year we have confidence, we're a better team as a whole. We feel like when we go out there we have a much better chance to win.

Q. In a game like this, that 6th inning, you took advantage of their mistakes. He says a free RBI, but that was really the biggest play. And Jonathan doing what he's asked, a role player?
RYAN BRAUN: I think we've done a pretty good job this year of taking advantage of the other teams' mistakes, as well as situational hitting right there. I think you get a guy on third base, less than two outs, the idea is to put it in play, whether you do a safety squeeze or swinging the bat. The whole goal is to get the runner in.
You have to be aggressive. You force the action and puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. I think Jerry Hairston was thinking about stealing third base. That's why the pitcher ended up balking. You don't do PFP, pitcher fielding practice, this time of year. Sometimes you put pressure on the opponent and it works out well for you.

Q. What does it mean that no matter what, you're going to have another game in front of this crowd, was that push to get home advantage paying off?
COREY HART: Yeah, we've had a good home record season because of the fans. You guys have seen them, as far as the games. It's kind of an incredible feeling to have that kind of support.
The other team feels that. They don't want to be out there in that kind of atmosphere, knowing that they're home, and these guys aren't going to go away. If we come back, they're going to be strong, if not stronger. We love it because they're on our side.

Q. You guys have so often scored with home runs. But that inning you broke it up it was single, single, single. First pitch for you and Nyjer and second pitch for Ryan. You guys had pretty good rat-a-tat-tat going.
COREY HART: They had the momentum after the home run. Jerry was pretty aggressive and Mr. Squeeze always comes through. He always gets the bunt down. Then you just try to take advantage. We found three holes right there and never looked back.

Q. Ryan, can you describe sort of how you're feeling at the plate right now? Do you consider yourself hot or where you're at?
RYAN BRAUN: I'm feeling good. I'm seeing the ball well, I think. I felt whenever I swing at strikes, I give myself pretty good chance to have success. Definitely swinging the bat well. I feel good, I'm swinging the bat well.

Q. Ryan, on the home run, you did "beastmode" to the crowd.
RYAN BRAUN: It's fun. I think the fans have really embraced the personality of our team. I think they embrace specifically the "beastmode" thing. They enjoy it. It's something we do for ourselves. It gets all of us fired up. And I think the fans have really enjoyed being a part of it.
And they've been such an important part of our success here at home, whenever you can get them in the game that much more, I think it's only going to be advantageous for us. They were pretty fired up.

Q. Either of you guys, for the general public it looks like when you guys play it's almost like a Little League team. That's how much fun you seem to be having. Is that the case? And how can that propel you guys through this tournament?
RYAN BRAUN: I think it helps to keep perspective and recognize that we're still playing a game. Obviously the stakes are higher, everything that happens is magnified. But I think it's important to keep that perspective and try to have that youthful exuberance you have when you start playing baseball. We have fun from the time we get to the ballpark to the time that we leave.
And I think it helps keep everybody loose. It really helps to keep our minds off of the magnitude of the games that we're playing. And I think we've done a really good job all year just showing up here, having a good time, laughing, smiling, talking trash and having fun.

Q. How did that balk change that inning, when you see a pitcher who is visibly frustrated on the call, and you seem to take on his first pitches down the stretch, did that have a momentum changing effect?
RYAN BRAUN: Like I said earlier, I think good teams always take advantage of the other team's mistakes, and that was obviously a mistake. It was a completely different inning when you have a guy on third base with nobody out versus a guy on second base and you're probably thinking about moving him over as a hitter. It definitely completely changed the inning for us.
And like I said, good teams have to do that. You have to take advantage of the other team's mistakes. And there's no doubt coming into that inning they had the momentum. Swung the bats well. Justin Upton had a good home run and it was important for us to respond to that.

Q. Every time you have a lead in that 5th, 6th inning, you know it must be lights out. You've got to feel locked up.
COREY HART: Our guys have been incredibly good back there, that's why we've had such a good turn of events, we win the second half, tied up a lot of teams, and I think because of that we kind of took off. If we're winning late in the game we feel like we're going to win. They have that kind of impression on us, and they're a big reason we've had this success.

Q. You guys up 2-0 in the series, the Brewers haven't won a series in 29 years.
RYAN BRAUN: We're excited that we won the first two games, but we could just as easily come back home tied 2-2. The goal was to advance in the postseason, and we haven't accomplished that, so I don't think we're overly excited, but we feel good about the way we've played these first two games. It's a short series. It's important to find a way to win when you're at home. We're off to a good start.

Q. Corey, you've played with Ryan so long, can you speak to the level he's played, and since you guys clinched?
COREY HART: I think we're talking about the difference between '08 and now. We were all kind of young and looking for that impact. And Ryan has been our impact. I mean, he's stepped up his game. But that's helped us as a team. He's a big reason we're at 2-0. You see he wants the big situation, and we like to give it to him.

Q. Ryan, did you notice with Zack at first base, he tried to do a "beastmode." And Corey, maybe you should answer. Could you guys help him with that?
COREY HART: I don't know, I think he's watching Lucroy too much. They're both kind of awkward at it right now.
RYAN BRAUN: I don't think there's much that Zack does that's smooth or cool, we give him a pass for being awkward. He lives his life awkwardly. We'll have to watch replay or something.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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