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October 6, 2011
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: Workout Day
Q. We asked Gallardo what was the plane ride like on the way back from Arizona?
RON ROENICKE: Quiet, sleepy. It was a late night. Guys and us, the staff, you know, weren't happy about the ballgame. But we got in enough to get some sleep. And I think a lot of guys got sleep on the plane. Probably more sleep than you guys got.
Q. What's a greater comfort to you, the home field advantage or having Gallardo going?
RON ROENICKE: Both. I like both combinations.
I feel good going into tomorrow. I think the guys feel good. Yovani has been pitching great, as you guys know, and I think with that confidence of coming back home, I think guys are feeling good.
Q. They jumped out so quick in games 3 and 4 offensively and put you guys in a hole. How important is it, especially as a momentum change of the series, for you to keep them down in the early innings tomorrow and let your team settle in a little bit?
RON ROENICKE: I think it's always important. Yesterday's game, getting down the five runs early, I thought we did a real good job of coming back to make it 5-3. When we were at 5-3 I felt good about the ballgame. I felt like we were going to keep scoring.
Once they go back ahead again, then all of a sudden you lose that good feeling about getting close and now you get so far behind. Momentum does change that way.
But I think with Yo coming out pitching the way he has, I think it is important to throw up some early zeroes and give our offense a chance to score some.
Q. After you clinched and you were deciding how to approach the race for home field advantage, what were the main factors that led you to go for it, as you said, just the tremendous home record or the way the pitching -- what factors were you weighing then?
RON ROENICKE: I think it was both, but talking about Doug, and I was mentioning what's more important here to line up our pitching or to have home field advantage? And I think in the conversations that we had, I think we thought home field advantage was more important. I think talking to the rest of the coaching staff I think they felt the same way.
And those are interesting decisions because it ended up where we could come back with Zack on the three days rest, so it kind of lined up the way we would have liked to anyway. But we didn't know that at the time. We didn't know that last game, if it was close. Zack was -- he was going to pitch for as long as we thought we needed him in there to win that ballgame.
But I think the home field advantage for our club -- and again, I think we played well on the road the second half, but I still think we're a better team at home.
Q. Why do you think home field has been so huge in this series where in every other series the road team's been able to get one?
RON ROENICKE: I think pitching has dictated what's happened in our series. The two starts we had at their place we didn't pitch very well.
I think Yo opening up. If we would have been on the road with Yo opening up, I feel like the same results would have happened. I think he would have pitched a real good ballgame.
So I don't know if that's the reasoning or if we just get too -- we've got Yo and then Greinke home, and then we go to Shaun and then Randy. And those two didn't pitch as well as I thought they were going to. I'm sure they're disappointed in their starts.
We felt all along we've got four and really, with Narvy, five really quality starters. We felt really good about those guys going on the road. And they didn't pitch the way they had hoped to.
Q. We touched last night about Rickie and the tough series he's having. I assume it's beyond all question that you would make a change in your infield now at this point. You stay with what you've got?
RON ROENICKE: Those are always tough questions when you get in the playoffs is trying to stay with who's hot and maybe try somebody new when somebody isn't swinging it well.
Rickie's situation would strictly be dictated with what's going on with his ankle. You guys still see the ankle. It isn't right. We knew it wouldn't be. But we were hoping that offensively that he would get locked in and be able to really hold down that fifth spot, which we've talked about all year.
So unless he comes in and unless something is going on with the ankle that would say, you know something, I'm really not -- I'm not close to a hundred percent, then maybe something would change. Those things are hard to do.
Nyjer, what's he, 1 for 12 or whatever he is. This guy's been huge for us all year, as Rickie has been. The only difference there is Nyjer is healthy. He's a hundred percent and Rickie is not.
Q. There's no red flag with Rickie's ankle. You're not thinking about not playing him -- he would have to say something to you or the trainer would?
RON ROENICKE: Yes. Something that would change my mind on what we're going to do and who we're going to play.
Q. What is the advantage in a situation when both starting pitchers start against each other and facing the same team, is it an offensive advantage or a pitcher's advantage?
RON ROENICKE: Good question, I think if pitchers have their command and they can throw it where they want to, I think the pitcher has more advantage.
But if the pitcher is missing spots, it definitely goes to the offense because he's already used to arm slots. He's used to velocities. He's used to the break on, the off-speed stuff. And if you're missing with those spots, he should be able to take advantage more the mistakes, because he has seen that pitcher before.
Q. You mentioned Nyjer. He admitted early on that you trusted him a little bit with the playoff experience. What's your take on how he's been playing for you? And conversely, how do you think Gomey looked last night? He had some good at-bats, doesn't hit the ball hard. You were kind of balancing those two things a bit?
RON ROENICKE: Right. Gomey, for four games in a row, has looked as good as you can possibly look. He's driving the ball. He's going down and getting low breaking balls. Those are baffling questions as to should you make that change.
I think the one hit that Nyjer got in this series was huge. We had that big inning. And I think with Gomey, the nice thing is, is I'm really confident what he's doing right now. If we get past this game tomorrow, we win that one, I feel really good about Gomey going into the next series facing some left-handers. If that's the case, I don't know who's going to win there.
His at-bats are great. That's as good as I've ever seen him. So it makes it a little difficult. Not difficult, but it gives you that in the back of your mind is, wow, it would sure be nice to get him in the lineup, but I don't know how you do that.
Q. In Games 3 and 4 your 3, 4 and 5 went 3 for 33. How much does Game 5 hinge on the production out of those three guys?
RON ROENICKE: That's important. 3, 4 have been the guys that have been doing it for us all year. It's very difficult, I think, for opposing teams to think about how to pitch them.
So when they get to that 5th spot, which hopefully we're going to get to a lot with people on base, it's important to have some good at-bats there. And they don't need to be getting hits every time, but it's important to put together some good at-bats to where when Ryan and Prince are on base that we have a chance to drive them in.
Hey, we've got two good pitchers going. I doubt it's going to be this big run total that we've had here in some of these games. I expect it to be low scoring. And one run is going to make a big difference, I would think, in going into this game.
Q. Are you surprised that there hasn't been a one-run game in this series, like every game it's been three or four every time?
RON ROENICKE: I expected some better pitching. But I think the offense have done a good job, I think capitalizing on mistakes. Our offense, except for the one game with a guy we can't hit, I think we've been really good.
Q. Moves by managers are so much more magnified and heavily scrutinized in the postseason. How much do you enjoy kind of that chess match, so to speak, between the dugouts? Do you feel that added sense of pressure when you're going to pull the trigger on a decision at a key moment, just given the level of the game and the meaning?
RON ROENICKE: I always enjoy the chess match. I think with Jerry and Aaron and I talking a lot with Rick Kranitz in that conversation, I really enjoy it. And I think when those situations come up they're fun. That's what makes managing, coaching, enjoyable.
The second-guessing in the playoffs, I don't enjoy that. Not just on my part, I don't enjoy it when somebody is second-guessing the other side, either. Because it's so easy to do.
I remember being in playoffs and announcers talking about what's going on in a game and what we should have done, when we've been there all year with these guys and we know exactly what they can do. And an announcer walks in there and sees one ballgame and he tells us what we should do. That's baffling to me. I don't get that at all. But it's easy to second-guess.
And I think I've mentioned this before, Clint Hurdle put it the best way I saw when he was doing the ESPN stuff, he said you need to be a good first guesser, not a good second-guesser. And that's exactly the way it should be.
Q. You've spoken frequently about this club's quality about coming back after adversity. That's obviously not an important quality now. But where does that spring from, in your mind?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I think it starts with what's inside a guy. You have some players that love the challenge of the adversity. They can pick up their game a little bit. They can bare down a little bit.
But I've seen other teams also where you don't have that personality in the player that when you have a little adversity they go the other way. And you never know what's going to happen there until it really is on the line.
When I was in Little League and high school, college, minor leagues, I never felt any pressure. I just went out and played. I got to the big leagues and all of a sudden there's this pressure on me. And I had no idea where it came from. But it's there.
And it's the same way when these guys are in the big leagues and now we go to the postseason. Some guys pick it up and some guys are better. And it comes down to personality.
You look at Jerry Hairston for us. He's very confident. He's cocky. He loves it. He loves it when it's on the line. And that's why the guy performs better. But some guys don't have that in them. And sometimes you don't know that until you get in that spot.
Q. Along those same lines, what do you think Prince's mindset is going into this game, especially with what he's been through over the last two years here, and this could be his last game, theoretically?
RON ROENICKE: I think he's kind of beyond that a little bit. I think the last game of the season here was a little bit emotional for him. But right now he is so focused on what we need to do and trying to win this game so that we can go on, that I don't think that's going to come into play with him. He's locked in on what we need to do. He knows his at-bats are going to be important.
And hopefully with Ryan and the boys on in front of him, and we'll see what happens.
Q. Since it's an elimination game, if Yo gets in trouble, is there any scenario Greinke would be used or is it a bullpen game?
RON ROENICKE: No, Zack would be available, not just if Yo isn't pitching well. Who knows, he could get a line drive back off a leg or something, and he's got to come out. So Zack will be available tomorrow.
Q. Has there been a preparation accordingly for him?
RON ROENICKE: There's been a conversation with him, yes.
Q. Along those same lines with the Game 5 scenario, and you guys were 1 for 13 with runners in a scoring position, does your philosophy change given how runs may be of such importance in terms of if it's first and second, throwing down a bunt as opposed to letting the guy hit, doing something different?
RON ROENICKE: Because of the game and because of what it means?
RON ROENICKE: I always believe in if I have the personnel up there, I always like to move runners along, not just because this is a must-win game. I think you score more runs when you move guys. I know some people say, well, you kill yourself for having that big inning, but I've still seen big innings happen. You bunt a guy over, your guys on second and third and all of a sudden they're pitching around the next guy, they walk him, and now you get a gapper and you score three runs.
Depending on the personnel and who's up there as to what we can do. Some guys I would love to bunt over, and every time I try to bunt them over they don't get the job done. You don't want to put a guy up there who you don't think has a good chance to succeed.
Q. Saito has two zeroes this Division Series. Could you see a scenario where he would be in again?
RON ROENICKE: Oh, sure. He's definitely available tomorrow. He's a big part of that bullpen. I hope we don't use him. I hope Yovani goes seven or eight innings, and we go right to our other two guys and that's the way it runs. But, sure, he'll definitely be in there if we need him.
Q. We laugh about questions that come out of Brewer Nation, but in the two hours I've been back today I sense some nervousness and some people scared, just listening to the radio, about the 2-0 lead now being 2-2. You've been in elimination games, are they scary? How do you describe the feeling especially when it goes from 2-0 to 2-2?
RON ROENICKE: We talk about the home field advantage. The reason we wanted it so much is because we know what can happen on the road. There are certain teams that play well on the road against us and the Diamondbacks are one of them. They're a very good home team.
So going in there, you know, I know people thought we were going to win this thing in three games, that wasn't on my mind. If we did, great. But I knew we were going to have a battle going in there.
This is a very good team. They've bounced back from a lot of adversity, also. They've got more come-from-behind wins than anybody. And I knew it was going to be a battle.
So coming back to this game, I'm not surprised that we're back here playing Game 5. And that's not to take anything away from what I think our team is. But I just have a lot of respect for their team. I think they're good. I think momentum has shifted for them to where they think that they've got a real good chance to win this next ballgame.
But I don't think that takes away from what we feel. I think our guys are going to come out and play a good game. We're very confident where we are. We're confident with who's pitching that ballgame. So I don't think the losing the two games there is going to feel like when we come back here that, oh, no, we're in trouble. I don't think we're going to feel that way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports