Shouse answers fans' questions
Southpaw takes time to chat with Brew Crew devotees
Brian Shouse participated in an online chat with Brewers fans on Friday before the Brewers-Marlins game. The hurler answered many Brewers fans' questions, including what his focus is when he takes the mound and what batters are his toughest to tame.
bog_72: What is your mind-set when you're brought into a situation where the last pitcher may have allowed a couple of runs and left a couple of runners on? Do you come out focused strictly on the batter, or the need to get the last out?
Brian Shouse: I come out focused on getting the batter out. I don't focus in the runners, I just focus in the hitter.
bog_72: Being the primary left-handed arm, you're brought in to face pretty scary hitters, usually the first guy you see. How do you approach that and who would you say is the hardest hitter you have to face?
Shouse: First, I am nervous! Just kidding. I focus on making the pitch that I want to and hope that they hit it to someone. That is how I approach the first hitter. You have so many hitters that are difficult, Ken Griffey Jr., Chase Utley -- Barry Bonds was difficult -- you have to treat them all as the best hitter because they are all Major Leaguers.
dboy3587: When did you learn the submarine style?
Shouse: I learned it in 2001. I was in the Minor Leagues and was told in order to get back to the big leagues I needed to set myself apart from other lefties. So, I said, "OK." I wish I would have done it many years ago.
gobrew_08: The Brewers should celebrate your success more. When you get outs, the scoreboard should tell us that you've put the opposition under "Shouse Arrest." Maybe even a graphic or a video of an opposing player being handcuffed. What do you think? Instead of Tears for Fears, how about the Animal House song Shout? The crowd would sing, "Put your hands up and Shouse," and the scoreboard could flash "Shouse" at the appropriate time. How about it?
Shouse: The Tears for Fears song is the one they played when I came in and we haven't changed it. It sounded like "Shouse," so I guess it stuck. The "Shouse Arrest" thing sounds really cool, we'll see what happens.
gobrews: Keep up the good work you've been doing this year. When you come in I know we have a chance to win. What do you do in the dugout during the game to keep loose and relaxed?
Shouse: In the bullpen, we spin cups, flick sunflower seeds, just stay loose and have fun. At about the fifth or sixth inning, we really start to get more serious about the game. Bill Castro keeps us laughing.
sfbrew: Do you feel like a mentor to some of the guys? You've got more experience and longevity than most Brewers.
Shouse: I can look at Mitch Stetter, who is sitting next to me right now, and he says, "He is my mentor." I don't have a problem talking to people or giving my teammates information and advice. If someone comes to talk to me, I will definitely help them, but I won't force anything on them.
Brewer44: Whats your favorite situation to enter a game?
Shouse: I don't mind coming in with runners on base. It is a challenge, and I like challenges. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Brewer44: You have never had an at-bat in the Major Leagues. What would you give up to get your first career hit?
Shouse: Oh man! I would love to get an AB. As far as giving up, I don't know, maybe my first victory, which took 110 or 112 games!
autoout51: What was your initial reaction when you got traded to Milwaukee?
Shouse: I was very excited and knew that I was coming into a good situation here in Milwaukee. It was a team that was very close to putting it all together. I also knew I would get to pitch a lot.
Tyrunner: Was there any baseball player you really admired growing up?
Shouse: Steve Carlton.
ace4pres: Which stadium is the hardest one to pitch in, whether it be because of the crowd or the make-up of the mound?
Shouse: Wrigley Field, Great American Ball Park, Citizens Bank Park and Coors Field -- those are all tough places to pitch and come to mind first.
drezdn: It seems like Guillermo Mota won't step on the foul line when he heads to the dugout. Do you have any superstitions when you pitch?
Shouse: Believe it or not, I really don't. All I try to do every day is try to follow my same approach and routine.
nwendt03: How helpful is it to have a catcher like Jason Kendall behind the plate, knowing that he does a lot of the thinking for you?
Shouse: I played with Jason in the Minor Leagues, so it was good to see him back. He is very knowledgeable in the game and understands hitters very well. He takes pride in learning what our pitchers have to offer.
zantonio: I know there is a mind-set in baseball for thinking only about now/today. But do you ever think about what you'd like to do after your career is over? Coaching perhaps?
Shouse: I have thought about coaching or maybe scouting, just something to stay in the game when I retire from playing.
jodiy: Being from Illinois, were you a Cubs fan growing up?
Shouse: I was a Cardinals fan growing up.
drezdn: It seems like most of the position players and starting pitchers are growing mustaches or beards. Do you have any plans to grow one? Maybe something like Goose Gossage?
Shouse: That will make me look old! I need to look young!
fankim: Were you always a pitcher or have you played any other positions?
Shouse: I actually played shortstop up until high school and I loved it. High School is when I actually started pitching.
badge_r: What's it like as a pitcher having manager Ned Yost and bench coach Ted Simmons, who were both catchers? Does that help?
Shouse: Having Yost and Simmons both be former catchers helps a pitcher understand what a hitter might be thinking.
Tyrunner: How difficult is it for you to get over a bad game or bad outing?
Shouse: At first, it is alway hard knowing you let the team down. You have to remember that it is only one game and you have many games left, and you have to envision yourself helping the team the next time you are out there. Staying positive is important.
darklotus66: Do you have a favorite memory from your times in the Minor Leagues?
Shouse: I got to experience winning the championship in Triple-A twice and Double-A once. Those are great memories from my career. I would like to experience that again here at the big league level with Milwaukee!
ryanwis420: How do the fans help you when your on the mound?
Shouse: Their cheering and support are great when I am running to the mound from the bullpen. It gives you that sense of confidence that you need to do your job.
TommyBoy8766: What was your favorite stadium to play at?
Shouse: There are a few, Safeco Field in Seattle is one of my favorites, Chase Field in Phoenix is nice, too. There are many more that are good, but my most favorite is Miller Park. I had never pitched here until I joined the Brewers and I like it a lot, and the fans.
mttyt: My brothers and I are all in the military, so we are all over the place, but we always go to the first and last games of the season. I'll be in the desert this summer, but watching every game on MLB.TV.
Shouse: Thanks for your support and watching the Brewers games. I want to say thanks to you and all the military for making our lives safe and enjoyable. Keep cheering on the Brewers and God bless!
Shouse: Thanks for all of your questions today. It has been fun and we will see you at Miller Park. Hope to talk again sometime! Go Brewers!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.