I’m not in the game again today because of a tight quad, so I have a few minutes to post a blog.
I don’t listen to the talk shows so I personally haven’t heard the comments about our tough loss to the Rockies Monday. But I’m told people were dumping on everyone from the players to the manager. Some apparently were saying our season was over.
Granted, it was a heart breaker. When the home-run ball was sailing over the wall, I just sat in the dugout with my head in my hands. Just minutes earlier, when Eugenio hit the triple, I was thinking, “This is our game.” Then suddenly it was over. We lost. I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking, “Is this really happening?”
But I have to tell you, nobody was thinking, “Oh, this guy lost the game for us, or that guy didn’t do his job.” Merkin Valdez was put in a very, very tough position. When he came in, the damage had been done. The bases were loaded. He went right after the hitter. That’s what he had to do. Go with his best stuff. Go after him and hope for a double play. It was a good pitch. I don’t think he could have done anything different.
The thing about that game – which maybe some fans lost sight of — is that every single guy battled his butt off. Every guy left everything he had on that field. Nobody gave up. They showed so much fight.
In the clubhouse afterward, on the bus to the airport and on the plane ride home, there wasn’t a sound from anybody. We felt crushed and exhausted. When we walked down the steps of the plane onto the tarmac in San Francisco – at around 3 a.m. — Bochy was standing there at the bottom, greeting every guy, telling us we battled our butts off and that there was no batting practice tomorrow and to get some rest.
I’m not sure how Bochy comes across through the media, but I’ve played for a lot of different managers, and I feel so lucky to have a manager of the caliber and strength of Bruce Bochy. People don’t understand what a great job he’s done with this team. Maybe you can’t really appreciate how good he is unless you’re on the inside watching what he does. He’s been awesome. That game on Sunday against Colorado, Bochy and our bench coach, Ron Wotus, did an amazing job. They’re always on the same page, figuring everything out, what moves to make, which arms are fresh. They have to consider so many different things. I really admire how they go about their business.
Same with the pitching coaches, Righetti and Gardner. They’re the ones who scout the hitters and talk to Eli and me. They do a superb job. They get you ready for every game. I have never been so prepared for games on any other team I’ve played on. These two guys are unbelievable.
When I arrived at the park yesterday afternoon, I was wondering how much the loss to the Rockies was going to affect the team. It was such a long, tough road trip. We got in late. Most of us didn’t go to sleep until about 6 in the morning. Then we came back here a few hours later.
When I walked into the clubhouse, everyone was great. They were joking like they always do. There was a lot of energy. That told me a lot. How you bounce back from such a heart-breaking loss reveals what you’re all about. Some teams might have been dragging. But these guys had a great attitude. They’re always ready to go.
And in another tough game last night, we battled and won. We don’t play many easy games, that’s for sure. It makes it exciting, I guess. But I think I’m ready for a few easy ones . . .
See you at the park.