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October 7, 2011

Kirk Gibson


Q. You flipped the order the other night with Young and Roberts. It obviously worked out great, they both hit home runs. What was your thinking on that, and then going back again today?
KIRK GIBSON: I can't really tell you why I did it. But there are reasons I look into it and I make decisions. I take in information, I watch film. I try and understand how players are feeling, maybe. And how it might affect them if they get moved and there's different things. There's different reasons. But I look into games and I try and understand how things might unfold and I try and put guys in position to succeed.
And ultimately, as I said when we came here, we're trying to win the series. So obviously we're down to the last game, trying to look at a way that we might be able to manufacture some runs. And the way I ultimately feel today, it's better to do it this way.

Q. Chris Young has had a great series, 3 home runs now. What's he doing so well?
KIRK GIBSON: He's just barreling the ball. Early in the year he went through a period and then he got up -- he's probably 265, whatever, and then has kind of struggled since that point.
He plays every day. He plays hurt. He actually had a thumb injury which he wouldn't let us -- really didn't want to rest on it and we treated it.
He plays centerfield. It's an important position for us. Runs the bases all the time. Just shows a lot of leadership in just the way he comes to the ballpark and approaches the way he does what he does, and how dependable he is.
And he's like anybody else, you get in a groove and you barrel some balls, you relax, trust yourself more. And you're not missing mistakes. And he seems to be one of those, and let's hope he stays there.

Q. Do you or your team feel pressure coming into this game or is there more a sense that the pressure is on the Brewers?
KIRK GIBSON: I think there's pressure every day, but that's why we play. We cherish that opportunity. I think we're better prepared to come into this environment today because of the first two games here, just understanding everything, how it works, the ballpark dimensions.
I told the guys yesterday, when you're playing people within your division you play a lot of games, you play, like whether it's San Francisco or San Diego or Dodger Stadium, we don't play much here. We come out here once a year, play three games. It's not as comfortable. You don't understand it as much.
So we came out here, we had the 1:00 game, their fans came in, the shadows were an issue, not even as much at the plate, but in the field. And if you can imagine you're on the pitching mound throwing the ball, those shadows are changing, you have a different look. It's not that they can't deal with, it's different.
And then the dimensions of the park and then your depth perception. You just develop comfort the more you're in.
We were here just recently, and I think we'll be better prepared and be more comfortable in the setting.

Q. You played football. This isn't football, rah-rah and pep talks. What is your message before a game like this to your team?
KIRK GIBSON: We just prepare like we would any other game. We'll sit down, have a little pre-advance meeting, make sure we understand everything that might go on or that we might attempt to do.
Like, the guys are loose. They come in and have done the same thing they've done every day, playing cards in there, screwing with each other, they're on websites, clowning around. Put a picture of me up with Michigan State with hair on me.
I think we feel relaxed. It's just a great opportunity. We always feel fortunate to wear the uniform and play the game. It's a great game. And we're just very lucky to be here and we're hungry to get back today.

Q. I know you said you would potentially use Hudson. Would you consider Collmenter, given his success against the Brewers?
KIRK GIBSON: I'll use anybody. We'll do whatever we have to do to win the series today. All resources are available.

Q. Would you be as quick potentially with the hook or do you feel like --
KIRK GIBSON: You never know. It's a game decision. It really is. So many things could happen in this game today. He could turn an ankle, Ian could turn an ankle. You have to be prepared to deal with what you have to deal with. Somebody could go down.
They could -- if they get up on us, we might have to pull him earlier, because we've got an opportunity to score some runs or it may be the other way. It will be a good game.
These guys, even in our last game, I think I guess one of the greatest measuring sticks is just to watch the way they kept fighting, the way they kept putting the pressure on us. It wasn't a relaxing game. They didn't just roll over. That's why they're here.
And that's why their manager, I know him, I watch him, I know where he comes from, his kind of mentor in Mike Scioscia, when he was with Sosh, I know how he is.
First day we went to home plate I asked Ron, who is your biggest mentor in the game, and he told me Del Crandall. So we all have them. It's kind of the basis and the foundation. And of course, I know who Del Crandall is, I know a lot about it, a lot of people. It kind of tells you what it's all about.

Q. Any thoughts on the roof being closed today?
KIRK GIBSON: It doesn't matter. Open, closed, we're here. It's fine. We do it there. I don't know if we have any control over it. So it's closed and closed it will be. And we'll compete in those conditions. Why would I possibly care?

Q. Fair question.
KIRK GIBSON: I'm not supposed to ask the questions (laughter).

Q. Can you please just talk a little bit about how the five hole has played out this series, and maybe the key for today as well?
KIRK GIBSON: Well, you know, they just asked me about this earlier, and I'm not going to get into that. I will just tell you this, this is the way I look at it. And we're down to one game, virtually nothing means anything. This is a new day, okay?
So you brought up Rickie Weeks. I was 1 for 15 in the '88 playoffs and I hit a home run off Roger McDowell to win the game. And then my next at-bat I hit a 3-run homer off Sid Fernandez to win that game.
Rickie Weeks has had a great season. He had an injury, and he's highly motivated and he's preparing, and he's just as dangerous as the guy at the top, whether it's Lucroy down in his position.
And I respect every single one of those guys. I understand we have to execute pitches and we will not take one guy easy, believe me. We will not do that.
And Paul Goldschmidt has had a great series, right? That series -- that's not going to get him anything today, he's still got to put the bat on the ball. Gallardo knows, I'm sure he's watched him a lot. It's not going to be easy.
That's what you hope to do. You hope to execute your pitches. You hope to pick up the ball. You hope to make good decisions. They are a very good team. They've all contributed to get here, as well as we have, and we'll be very careful with them all.

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