So here we are! Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. This is exciting. Watching Jason Kendall ground to Jimmy was amazing. I’m glad I was on the field. I’ll never forget it.
After losing on Friday, and seeing how their crowd was really into it, it was huge for Jimmy to put the momentum back with a leadoff homer today. It set the tone and kick-started us. Going up 1-0 is what it’s about. Pat’s two homers today were also pretty big, and Joe Blanton was awesome. He gave us a big lift.
We took another giant step forward, but have two more steps to go. I can’t wait until Thursday. The fans will be ready to go. We will be too. We’ll take today’s win and get ready to go in the next couple of days. To win a division, to win a pennant, you have to have everybody
contributing. Every guy has to step up to win a pennant. We have to keep going. We can’t lose sight of what’s at the end of the road.
That’s where we’re at right now. We still haven’t reached our ultimate goal, so we’re not going to get overly excited.
This is a dream. When it’s all said and done, you’ll gather your emotions and savor this moment. This is what you dream about as a child. You set goals every day. But one goal at a time. We have two more steps to go.
We have a tremendous team. Our overall chemistry, our overall team, the diversity of our attitude, our personalities, that’s what makes it so fun. People always talk about how it’s so fun to watch this team. I think that’s what you see. Even when we’re down, we’re still having fun, but in a professional way. We know we always have an opportunity. That’s what’s been good about us all year long. We’ve been down many times and we keep plugging.
I plan to relax on Monday, so I’ll talk to you guys in a few days.
What can I say?
We lost. Dave Bush pitched well. We hit the ball well, just at guys for a good part of the game. You tip your hat to him. He kept the runs to a minimum. We made a push in the ninth, but they did their job and held on. Bush went out there and did what he needed to do tonight.
We thought we had something going in the ninth. Pedro Feliz hit that ball well, too. He hits that a foot either way, it’s a hit. We’re still leading in the series and they have to win two more games. We have to play them tomorrow, so we’ll go out there and try to end this. We want to finish it here.
As for my ninth-inning play on Craig Counsell, it wasn’t dirty. If that was the case, I would’ve just bowled him over. That wasn’t my intention. I was trying to get him to throw the ball off my chest, or my helmet, something. When the ball was hit, I said to myself, “That’s almost an automatic double play.” He hit the ball so well and Billy made a good play. I was just trying to get something to happen. I was trying to stay out of a double play. It didn’t work.
I have confidence in this team and in Joe Blanton. We’ll come out and play hard, and hopefully we’ll be able to rest until Thursday, when the NLCS starts.
We’re definitely hungry. Not that we weren’t hungry last year, but it took so much to get there… Last year, we were happy to get there. This year, we want to win a World Series.
Making the last out against Colorado sat with me for a little bit, but after, I realized what we’d accomplished in making the playoffs and winning the division. The way last year ended hurt, but it didn’t kill us because we hadn’t gotten there in forever. That was a high in itself. This year, we feel like we belong here, and if we lose in the first round, it will hurt a lot more. This year, we expect to be here and to go further.
Everybody keeps talking about last year. I’m over it. We have to put it behind us. I think the only thing I would say we can take from last year is experience. We’re not thinking about what happened. You only want to think about what’s going on now. I think things will go better.
It felt like we were so happy last year, and it was such a big accomplishment to win the division. I’m not saying we should beat everybody this time around, but we should play up to our potential. We have experience. We’ve been there. We know what it’s like.
There’s no question that we’re on a mission. Overall, the dimension of our team is better. The lineup has been shifted around. Our bullpen is deeper. Our starting staff has done better. Experience will play a big part.
I don’t want to get swept again. I expect us to go further. I expect us to go to the World Series.