We’re ready to play our game

Rowand250x400 Guys weren’t dwelling on Thursday’s loss, so there wasn’t much talk about baseball on the plane. It’s just like any flight like when you lose a game on getaway day. But the mood lightened up and guys start talking about other stuff. It’s was nice to see.

We played PSP Socom II. Me, Jayson Werth and Rod Barajas waffled Adam Eaton and Cole Hamels. We played the whole trip.

Everybody was cool on the flight. We don’t have a bunch of guys who are hanging their heads. We’ve rattled off three games quite a few times this season and have done well on the road this season, too. Obviously, you’re upset after the loss, and you don’t want to go down two games to none. But once everybody had a chance for that to set in, it was business as usual on the plane, with guys talking and laughing and getting ready for today. That’s the way this team has taken it all season long. Nobody is sulking.

We’re going to go out and play our game Saturday. This team has been resilient all season. It’s the way we approach things and the personality of this team. There’s no use dwelling on a loss. It’s all about moving forward, and that’s what this team does best.

There’s not one person who doesn’t believe we can come back and win this series. It’s just a matter of us playing our game. We know what we’re capable of doing.

No reason we can’t get it done

Rowand400x200 No one is happy about where we are right now. We put ourselves in a precarious situation, and all we can do is play. We have to come out in a couple of days and swing the bats a little better. We didn’t have a whole lot of things working for us on Thursday. We didn’t hit very well. We didn’t throw very well. That doesn’t equate to a win.

The important thing is to not dwell on this and relax on the flight to Denver. We know what we have to do, but the less we think about it, the better we are.

No one is panicking or down. We’ve been there before, and we have to try and step up and recover. A lot of the media guys were telling us that seven other teams have come back from 0-2 deficits, so it’s obviously something that’s been done before, and there’s no reason why we can’t be the eighth.

We didn’t give up hope of making the playoffs, so we’re not going to give up now. It wouldn’t make sense.

Sleep on the plane will be good, or maybe music or a movie. Just get your mind off the game for a few hours. We’ll be ready on Friday and we’ll fight hard to win three more games.

Nobody’s panicking

I got plenty of sleep Tuesday night. I even took a nap yesterday afternoon, then went to dinner at American Grille with the family. I was raring to go this morning and got here at 8:45 a.m. The only guy who beat me here was Chooch, Carlos Ruiz. I went through my pregame routine and got ready to play.

Rowand200 All you have to do is turn on the TV and see all the crazies running around in the streets, and you can tell how jacked up this city is for a championship. When I walked on the field for batting practice, it was neat to see how people were already here. Then right before the game, it was cool to see how packed the place was.

Sure, we lost today, and they jumped out early on us in tough conditions, with the shadows. Then we came up short. After the second inning, Cole settled down and pitched great. He was outstanding after that. We just didn’t muster up enough runs for him. Still, this isn’t deflating. We would’ve liked to have won the game and liked to have gotten off on the right foot, but we’ve come back before. Nobody is sitting around here sulking. We’ve been through too much to do that.

My first postseason at-bat in 2005 was nerve-wracking. But I didn’t see anybody tight or waving at bad pitches today. Jeff Francis is a good pitcher with good stuff. He doesn’t throw hard, but when you have command of your pitches, and don’t leave stuff over the plate, that’s pitching. That’s how Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine do it.

Nobody’s panicking. It’s one game and we have four more. We’ll come out with the same intensity that we had today. We’ve been behind the eight ball a lot and nobody will quit. We have a lot of guys in here who have a lot of pride in what they do. That’s the only reason we’re here, because we’d be going home right now if we didn’t have these type of guys in this locker room.

I expect to see the same from Kyle Kendrick on Thursday that I’ve seen all year. He’s been outstanding. He’s young and has more poise and mound presence than he realizes. He knows how to stay within himself. You saw it in his first Major League outing. He’ll be all right in a playoff atmosphere.

There’s no doubt that the Rockies have the same do-or-die attitude that we had. They’ve done well to get here. They were in the same spot we were and they’ve played extremely well to get to the playoffs.

It’s going to be a battle between two teams that really want to get to the next round.

Hold on to that feelin’ …

Tomorrow morning is going to be exciting. I’ll probably leave earlier than on most days
because I’ll want to get to the park. The excitement of knowing that
it’s finally here, my adrenaline will be pumping from the time I get
up.
 
We won the division and we’ve had a couple of days to
enjoy that, but it’s time to get back to work. Ultimately, we know it
takes 11 more wins to get to where we want to be, and the only way to
get there is to take it one pitch at a time. That’s what breeds success,
and our first goal is to get past this first series.

It’s exciting to play in the postseason with a new group of guys
and getting to share this with them.
Celebraterowand_1

I got to be on a
team that won the World Series — the White
 Sox in 2005 — so I feel privileged to
be able to go to the postseason a couple of times in the past seven
years. A lot of players play their whole careers and never get to go.
Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has
  played for a long time, and this is his first chance. In
the World Series in 2005, I got to play against Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell in
Houston, and they played for a long time without going to the World
Series. I got to talk to Biggio about that. Obviously, he would’ve liked
to have won a ring, but he looks back at playing in a World Series as
one of the highlights of his career. Talking to guys like him who have played
that long puts it in perspective.
 

We were lucky enough
to come out on top.

Winning a division is one thing. Winning a
World Series is another. You really enjoy that. Being able to enjoy
that, and knowing that all the work that you put in over the course of that
season — and your life — all the blood, sweat and tears have finally
come to the peak. You’ve finally come to the top of the mountain and
nobody can take that away from you.

I have my wrist bands that
I wore in all the World Series celebrations. I never washed them. I have
all the hats and the shirts we got after clinching. The glove I used. The
batting gloves. Everything. The stuff I used in the games. All that
stuff brings the memories back. The photos of the celebrations. You
can’t put a dollar sign on those things. Those things are special inside. Those the things you keep for the rest of your life and you get to pass
on to your kids.

We know we still have a ways to go before we
can say we’re World Series champions. The players here have been around
long enough to know how to prepare for games and what they need to do. We
have to make sure to stay in our routines so everything is the same.

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