Showing what were capable of
Wow, what a day at
the park. I hope you got to see it. This was the kind of game that shows what
this team is capable of.
The Padres got a
home run into the bay on the very first pitch of the game – and we fell behind
3-0. Even just a few days ago, that might have been enough to sink us, the way
we were playing. There have been a lot of ups and downs for the team the past
month, as you know. The loss on Tuesday to the Marlins might have been the
roughest. Four errors. Only two hits. I was as down after that game as I can
remember being in a long time. I just sat in front of my locker for the longest
time. I didn’t want to talk with anyone.
It’s one thing to
lose. But to lose the way we did was just embarrassing. I don’t care if we have
no chance to reach the playoffs — we can’t play like that. Ever. We still have
to play 150 percent and try to win every single game. You have to respect the
game and respect your teammates and respect the fans. It means so much to me to
see the fans come out to watch us play and I hate when we don’t play the way we
know we can.
It’s not just
about winning, though that’s why we’re out there. It’s also about setting an
example. You don’t know if a kid is watching to see how he should conduct
himself. You don’t know if you’re a role model to someone out there who is
studying how you go about your business. So you have to play every day, every
inning, with everything you have. The results will take care of themselves.
We’re also setting
examples for each other, here on the field and in the clubhouse. We have to
pick each other up when we’re down. We have to go out there and perform with
such desire that our teammates can never doubt that we’re behind them 100
We talked about
that among ourselves, some of us using more pointed language than others, about
picking each other up, playing hard, not taking the job for granted.
Then, just like
that, it all turned around.
On Wednesday, the
Marlins tied the game in the ninth then Roberts, Winn and Rowand loaded the
bases in the bottom of the inning. I waited on deck watching Lindstrom walk
Rowand intentionally. I knew he would be going fastball on me. I just wanted to
hit the ball hard to the outfield. Sure enough, I got a 99 mph fastball on the
first pitch and hit it to center field deep enough to score the winning run from
I don’t know if we
showed ourselves something that day – that if we keep playing hard every single
inning and never give up — that we have the kind of players who can win any game
at any time. The next day, Thursday, Matt Cain had a great outing, even though
he didn’t get the win. Then Timmy came out on Friday and pitched one of the
best games I’ve seen him throw. His location – the key for every pitcher – was
Then Zito pitched
great on Saturday for our fourth in a row. He’s pitching now the way we always
knew he would pitch. He said it himself on the radio Sunday morning: He’s just
more himself. Before you could tell he was pressing – which is deadly for
pitchers or for hitters. Z was never nervous or scared on the mound – never,
never – but he was putting so much pressure on himself. Now you can see he has
the kind of presence on the mound that he had at his best.
Z’s finishing the
season strong — and that’s what all of us have to do. This should be the time
for every player to show what he can do. As a team, we have to show ourselves
and the fans that we’re better than our record this year. We want to finish
this season having laid the groundwork to be contenders next season. So, not to
sound like a broken record, but we have play hard and keep on playing hard to
the final out.
We did that again
behind, 3-0, we got one back in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the
sixth — three on my homer into the left-field bleachers. When I was rounding
second, all I could think about was Kevin Correia getting the win — only his
second since April. In the clubhouse afterward, I said, “Co, that’s for you.
You deserve it.” He’s been so close so many games and not gotten the win. For
me, that was the most important part of my first five-RBI game of the season.
The Padres scored
a run in the eighth but that was it. We swept the Pads and got our fifth win in
The truth is, I was
really angry when the game started and I struck out my first at-bat. I already
was ticked off because Bochy sat me on Saturday. I hate sitting, no matter how
tired the manager might think I am. So between that and striking out, I came
back into the dugout after my first at-bat just miserable. I told myself just
to calm down. I couldn’t play being mad at myself or anyone else. I thought if
I calmed down, everything would change. And it did.
In the next entry,
I’ll talk about my at-bats today, and also about the amazing Pablo Sandoval.
reading. See you at the ballpark. I’ll leave you with some photos: