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October 13, 2011

Ron Roenicke



Q. We talked yesterday about Randy, sometimes he has trouble the first inning, and he breezed through, and a weird home run and he seemed to settle in. It must be good to see that starting rotation finally get a good one.
RON ROENICKE: Great to see. Yeah, right from the first inning, I thought he had location; I thought he had a feel for his curveball. The two homers he gave up, the one to Holliday, I didn't think Holliday thought he got it. I didn't know if he did, either.
And then a real good pitch. I don't know how Craig got down and got a pitch knee-high outside corner and drove it out to right center, but he hit it hard. It was a good at-bat by him.
Other than that, Wolfy, great job. We needed it. He came through big, got us deep in the game. Outstanding job from him.

Q. You had a chance to go for more runs in the top of the sixth, and you chose to stick with Wolfy. You were right. Was the decision-making process there?
RON ROENICKE: There was a lot going on there. You know, really, if we decided -- we decided that if we had a great opportunity with Wolf's spot, that we would probably hit for him. But how it came up, really, if we were going to do that, probably we were going to have to also hit for George. So you go through Luc and then use a pinch-hitter. If we used Corey, they would have walked him, left-to-lefty and probably to face Nyjer. There was a lot going on. They had some options. They had Dotel down warming up. They had a lot of options, and we did, too.
I don't know why we decided to leave it as is. We already were up a run, which had a lot to do with it. Felt good with George facing Arthur Rhodes and putting it in play and at least getting us one run. And he did a good job there.

Q. We talked about it again and again, but the home-field thing, you get to take it back to Milwaukee now, be it up 3-2 or down 3-2, how much does it mean to be guaranteed that you'll get to play at home again?
RON ROENICKE: Real important for us to go back home. I still think that we can play good ball on the road. But it's important to go back home for sure. Hopefully we'll do it with a lead, but if not, we have got two games there.

Q. Again, the season series is back to even now. What are the challenges that goes along with such an even series throughout the year?
RON ROENICKE: It's the same challenges we talked about at the beginning. This is a really good team. We think we have a really good team, and who executes. I thought we played a really good game today. A lot of good things happened. We got the great pitching. I thought we played good defense.
Prince made a couple of really nice picks at first base, and then offensively, we squared up a lot of balls. Not just the runs that we got, but we hit some bullets. Prince smokes a ball for a double play. Kots hits a liner to left. Rickie hits a bullet to center. A lot of good things, I thought, offensively.
So overall, we played a really good game.

Q. This has been a bullpen series up until tonight when Randy pitched. How big is it for you guys to get to the sixth inning and be able to say, hey, my starter is pitching well enough to go another inning?
RON ROENICKE: It's big. Like I said -- and Randy has done that for us during the year. You know, he stopped a couple of losing streaks that he came in with a game against a good offense, too, and was able to do what he did today.
But it was huge. Any time you get your starter getting that deep against this team, it's a great outing.

Q. Have you seen the replay of Hairston's slide at all?
RON ROENICKE: I didn't see the replay. I know any time he gets in there and he starts getting that body outside to get his hand in there, it's a tough tag. Even though the catcher had the ball, and probably in time, to be able to get back and get down low enough to get the tag on him is pretty difficult.

Q. Ryan Braun has had so many big at-bats and they bring in the hard-throwing reliever Boggs to face him with the score tied and he works him and works him and then finally gets a base hit. That seemed like another huge at-bat for him.
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, real big at-bat there. To get the infield in on the right side there, they left the shortstop back a little bit.
But Brauny, he battles until they make a mistake where he's able to handle it, and he continues to get big hits for us. And some of the other guys, too. Hairston, big hit down the line, Betancourt, nice at-bats. So we did a good job.

Q. Going back to that slide for a second, how big of a play is that at that moment? If he's out, things maybe change a little?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I think so. Yeah, it's a big slide. You know, we hit a bullet to center to give Jay a chance to get it in quickly. And Albert made a nice relay there and made a good throw home.
So important to have a good slide there.

Q. Can you talk about what the demeanor of the team was before the game? Did they seem maybe more focused than recent weeks because of what was at stake?
RON ROENICKE: No, we were the same as we usually are. They understand what's at stake. They understand it's an important ballgame. But they also understand that we play better when we are a little bit loose, so it was the same. There was a lot of chatter going on in the locker room, some laughing going on. And when it's time to play, they know what they need to do when they need to play.

Q. You talk all the time about the eighth-inning save; K-Rod had the heart of the order there and Molina was putting a heck of a battle on. Can you talk about the job he did to get it to Axford?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, great pitches again. He continues to make that huge pitch when he needs to. Molina has put together some at-bats that were incredible. He fouls off the tough pitches. You keep making good pitches on him and he's fouling them, and then he was able -- the one on Wolf, he's able to hit that line drive to right field. But he's a tough guy to get out. You make -- even when you make good pitches, it's not like he puts them in play and makes an easy out for you. He fouls it off, he stays alive, and we know that there's not a lot of room to go to to be able to get him out.
The Molina brothers seem to be the same. They really have great hand-eye coordination with the bats and they are hard to strike out and they always seem to do something good to get it in play.

Q. How hard is it to hold that offense to two runs?
RON ROENICKE: That offense is very difficult to hold down. You saw, even though you make a good pitch, which Wolfy did on the one down and away to Craig, they still hit a home run. The ball Holliday hits, I don't want to say it was a great pitch, but it was away. Whether it was on the corner or not, it was a little above the knees. But there are so many ways that they can score and keep the pressure on you that it doesn't allow you to relax any because their lineup is so deep.

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