Hitting the road
This wasn’t what we had in mind, obviously. I really felt we were going to bounce back and win Game 2 behind David Wells, and Boomer did his part. We just couldn’t break through against Jeff Weaver and their bullpen.
It can’t get much more frustrating than one run in two games. I don’t really understand why we have these rough times at PETCO Park, but maybe the best thing for us now is getting on the road, where we’ve consistently played our best baseball.
We’ve talked all year about how resilient this team is, and there’s a good reason for that — it is an incredibly resilient baseball team. I look back to so many points in the season where we could have packed it in, but that didn’t happen. And I don’t expect it to happen on Saturday in Game 3 behind big Chris Young.
This guy has been a great pitcher for us all year, especially on the road. There’s no particular reason for that, I don’t think, but when a guy hasn’t lost a game on the road, it just kind of builds a momentum, I think. But even with Chris at the top of his game, the way he’s been down the stretch, we still have to figure out ways to score.
We’ve had success in the past against Jeff Suppan, and we played well at the new Busch Stadium when we were there on our last road trip. We won the first two games of that series and had a lead behind Young in the third game before Albert Pujols hit that three-run homer.
They’re a good ballclub; we knew that coming in. No surprises there. They’d had some injuries late in the season, but they’ve got their whole club back together, and those guys know how to play. But so do we, and we’ve shown it all year.
Obviously, they’re getting the timely hitting and making plays defensively as well as pitching lights-out. Put those factors together, and it’s winning baseball.
I thought we’d get some momentum going when I made the throw home, and Josh Bard made such a great play to get Juan Encarnacion trying to score in the second inning on Ronnie Belliard‘s hit. But we just couldn’t get our offense in gear for some reason.
Weaver was good, and his confidence seemed to grow once he got out of that first-inning jam, leaving two guys on. He was ahead all day after that and kept throwing his curveball. It wasn’t like Chris Carpenter in the first game — overpowering, electric. But Jeff had good command of the strike zone with his breaking ball and made pitches when he needed them.
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and move on. That’s what we’re doing. You give a team respect, but at the same time, we know we can beat these guys if we play our game.
People ask me all the time why we hit so much better on the road, and I wish I knew. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing at PETCO Park these past two seasons. It was mentioned that this might have been my final game at home in a Padres uniform — I’m due for free agency, it looks like — but that only was in my mind for a heartbeat before I moved on and started thinking about St. Louis and Game 3.
Obviously, we have to win. I have no doubt in my mind, none whatsoever, that we can get two wins there and bring the series back home.