PHOENIX -- If it seemed that Trevor Hoffman doled out a hug on Tuesday for every one of his 601 career saves, it's because he is one of the most popular teammates in Brewers history. Never mind he only spent two seasons wearing the uniform."I love them back," Hoffman said on the field -- between hugs -- before Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Hoffman was among a group of former Brewers on hand at Chase Field as the series shifted to Arizona, along with Hall of Famer Robin Yount, former All-Star outfielder Geoff Jenkins and at least one member of the Brewers' current disabled list -- reliever Mitch Stetter. In Hoffman's case, he could watch with particular pride because he played a small but significant role in general manager Doug Melvin's assembling of the team. Free agents Randy Wolf and Mark Kotsay signed with Milwaukee only after consulting with former Padres teammate Hoffman. Wolf has been a fixture of the pitching rotation for the past two seasons and would start a Game 4 on Wednesday night, if necessary. Kotsay has filled a role off the Brewers' bench. "We discussed what it would be like," Hoffman said. "I don't think it hurt to have those discussions." Hoffman retired after the 2010 season and took a front-office job with the Padres. When that team retired his number in August, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, general manager Doug Melvin and COO Rick Schlesinger traveled to San Diego for the ceremony. On Tuesday, Hoffman returned the favor. "I'm a big fan, and after the great year they've had, it's pretty nice to be able to be here today to see them in person," Hoffman said. "I definitely think they're built to win this whole thing."
Return to Arizona sparks memories for Counsell
PHOENIX -- Craig Counsell has returned to Chase Field dozens of times since celebrating the D-backs' World Series championship 10 years ago, but his first postseason visit since then is conjuring a particularly vivid set of memories.Counsell is in the other dugout now, a bench player for a Brewers team that entered Tuesday's game with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series and a chance to pop champagne bottles in the visitors' clubhouse. "It doesn't feel like 10 years, to be honest with you," Counsell said. "It was a great team to be on, a fun, fun team to be on. They are making a big deal about this [Brewers] team, like it's some fraternity party or something like that, the craziness. But every team is different, and every team has its own personality." The '01 D-backs were just as fun-loving, if more than a bit more veteran. "It was an old, old team," Counsell said. "I was 31, and I was definitely in the younger third." He was indeed the youngest player on the team to compile more than 250 at-bats. Counsell played a career-high 141 games that season, batting .275 with 76 runs scored. He was at first base when Luis Gonzalez blooped the Series winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Yankees' Mariano Rivera. Counsell is one of three regulars from that team still active in the Majors -- catcher Rod Barajas and pitcher Miguel Batista are the others -- so he had to miss a 10th anniversary celebration at Chase Field last month. "It's fun to be back here for a playoff game," Counsell said. "It can't help but bring back memories. You don't want to forget that stuff -- you want to remember it because they were great times."
Kennedy clarifies comment about Lucroy
PHOENIX -- Ian Kennedy seemed puzzled Tuesday when he was asked if he wanted to clarify the comments he made about Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy following Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
"What I said about Lucroy?" he asked. "I don't remember saying anything about him."
In the sixth inning of Game 1, the Brewers had a runner on third with two outs and Lucroy coming to the plate with pitcher Yovani Gallardo on deck.
The D-backs elected to pitch to Lucroy rather than walk him and get to Gallardo, and the move backfired when Lucroy fought off a high and tight pitch for a bloop single to left that gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
After the game, Kennedy was quoted as saying of the decision not to intentionally walk Lucroy, "It was a guy who can't really hit and Gallardo can swing it a little bit. There was no thought at all, for me at least."
During batting practice on Tuesday before Game 3, Kennedy listened to a reporter's recording of the interview and pointed out that at the beginning of his comment he mumbled and the words were not 100 percent clear.
"It's not like a guy that can't hit on deck," Kennedy said he said. "And Gallardo can swing it a little bit. I'm not talking about Lucroy at all. I wasn't talking about Lucroy. I mumbled. I'm sorry I don't have the best speech."
If the NLDS goes to a decisive Game 5 on Friday, right-hander Yovani Gallardo would start, manager Ron Roenicke said. He had the choice between Gallardo, who won Game 1, and Zack Greinke, who started Game 2 and would be available on regular rest. A couple of Brewers staffers were reminded Monday that baseball is a contact sport. Media relations men Mike Vassallo and John Steinmiller were sitting in the dugout during the team's workout when an errant Carlos Gomez throw struck Vassallo in the forehead and ricocheted to hit Steinmiller. Vassallo was hit hard enough that the Brewers administered a concussion test. He was OK, except for the nasty scuff between his eyes. "If you've seen his face, it helps him out," pitcher Randy Wolf joked. "It's something redeeming that wasn't there before. He's almost as red as my goatee right now."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.