It was an amazing end to a great season, holding on to beat the Diamondbacks the way we did. But our work is only beginning, in a way. We definitely have some unfinished business with the Cardinals after the way they swept us in the playoffs last year.
Last year, getting there was pretty exciting. We weren?t prepared to go any further. This year, everyone?s excited again about going to the playoffs, but this team is built for the postseason. There are no weaknesses here.
We?ve played a lot of close games all year long, so that should prepare us for what?s ahead. We?ve also been playing our best baseball down the stretch, which is the way you want to go into the postseason. We had the best record in the league (19-9) in September, and they were all meaningful, pressure games, because the Dodgers and Phillies were able to keep the pressure on us all the way.
We have a lot of depth, a nice mixture of youth and guys who have been there. You see guys like Josh Barfield and Adrian Gonzalez, how they?ve grown over the course of the year, and it?s great to be a part of that. Both those guys have come a long way and played huge roles for us. Having that blend of youthful exuberance and cool-headed veterans is what you want.
We?ve beaten some of the best pitchers in the National League -? Chris Carpenter and Brandon Webb on this last road trip. Hopefully, we?ll continue to do that. We?ve got a lot of different ways we can hurt you. All through the lineup there are guys who have had big years, good years.
Obviously, pitching and defense keep us in ballgames; we?ve got all the confidence in the world we?ll do whatever it takes to win games.
I feel as good as I?ve felt all year physically. It?s been a very satisfying season in a lot of respects, but after the season is over is when I?ll be able to reflect on that, what it all means. Playing every day on a team like this and doing my job — getting on base, making things happen, playing solid defense ?- has been extremely gratifying.
This is a team in every respect. These guys really care about each other. The chemistry has been strong all season long. We?re very confident in our ability to handle any situation. This is a good baseball team.