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.
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.