Pitchers take center stage

Game_1It was a pitchers’ duel on Thursday night in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. We hit a lot of balls hard that just didn’t fall our way. We had a couple of bloopers that could have dropped, but the Mets made diving plays on them. So like I said, it was just a pitchers’ duel. That one swing of Carlos Beltran put them on top. I guess that was the turning point of the game right there.

I tip my hat to Jeff Weaver. He pitched a heck of a game, but we just fell short. We’ll come back Friday and make sure we get it done.

Being introduced before a playoff game in my hometown of New York was wonderful. I tried to hear my family scream, but it was hard because the Mets fans were booing everybody. But I know they were out there. I just had a lot of fun this first day. Now it’s time to take care of business, though.

It wasn’t quite as loud as I thought it was going to be with 56,000 people. But that just tells you about how loud our fans in St. Louis can be.

I was just a little bit late in my at-bat tonight. I’ve got to start a little bit earlier next time. But I felt like I was on the ball. I swung at a bad pitch for strike three. But it happens, and tomorrow we’ll take care of business.

Rain in The City

SheastadiumWhen I woke up today, it was cloudy but they didn’t expect too much rain. They expected a lot of rain to fall tomorrow. But as soon as we got to Shea Stadium, it started drizzling a little bit. And then about 15 minutes after I got here, we went out to the dugout and it was just pouring. We had a lot of people saying that there might be a window between 8-10 p.m. ET, but we might not play at all.

Like any team during a rain delay, we just sat around and talked a little bit. We had meetings and things like that. You could also go hit in the batting cage. It’s hard for guys to throw outside. It’s just one of those days. We sat around and hoped the rain would go away, but it didn’t happen. So we’ll start the series tomorrow. It will be the same lineups, same pitchers, but just pushed back another day.

It’s a mixed mood when you’re waiting. It’s both anxious and loose. We want to start this series already, but we’re definitely loose. A lot of guys had their game faces on, ready to play, but the rain stopped us from playing. What can you do? It’s just Mother Nature. You can’t control her. So we’re going to go home, have some dinner, go to bed early and get ready for tomorrow.

I stayed with my family last night, so I have my uncle’s car while I’m here. So I wasn’t on the team bus this afternoon when it was delayed so badly. I know a couple of shortcuts, so I got here in 45 minutes, even with the traffic. The bus took like two hours with the traffic. You know New York City traffic is one of the worst — here and L.A. are the worst.

I really didn’t talk to the guys much about the bus ride. They just said there was bad traffic. A couple of them were asleep on the bus, some were calling people. It was a bad ride altogether.

On to the NLCS


I give Albert Pujols a beer bath in the clubhouse.

Now that we’ve advanced to the NLCS, what can I say? Wow. Thank you to God. Thank you Jesus. Thank you to my family, my Uncle Bobby. And thank you to the Cardinal family.

We’ve still got a lot more games to go. So right now we’re enjoying this. We’ll go to New York tomorrow. This is great. Being my second season, it’s my second time in the playoffs. And hopefully this year we can go further than we did last year. Last but not least, I want to thank the greatest fans in the world, here in St. Louis.

You know why we didn’t pack for a possible trip to San Diego? Because Albert Pujols said not to. That man was angry after yesterday’s game. And when he’s angry, we just jump on his back. And we jumped on Carp‘s back, and from there we just ride. That man predicted it. So I know I wasn’t one that was going to disobey him.

Now I get to play in New York for the first time. I’ll get to see my family and see all my friends. I’ll get to play in the city that I’ve always wanted to play in. I’ll play against them. Because I’m here with this wonderful group, this outstanding organization, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Heading home


Me (53) and my teammates welcome Albert Pujols back after he scored.

It’s hard to explain where we are right now. We’re not on a high but we’re not low either. We’re just staying on an even keel. We just want to go back to our place and take care of things. We are two games up, but we can never take anything for granted.

We can’t let up, not one ounce. We’ve got to go to our place and take the energy from our fans, who are the best fans in the world, and go out there and play the game like we’ve been playing over here. Defense, offense and the strategy of Tony. We’ve just got to stay focused. Remain focused and keep working hard.

Coming home with two chances to close this out is great, but we’ve got to stay focused. There’s no way we can lose it or give them an inch. We’ve got to stay on top of them and keep pressure on them.

I got another at-bat, and I keep hitting the ball to the furthest part of the park. Hopefully I can get something like that at home and it will go. I’ve just got to stay focused and keep hitting the way I’m hitting. It’s wonderful just to get my feet wet and put a good swing on it and put a good at-bat together like that.

The flight home is going to be wonderful. And then we have a day off tomorrow. We all can sleep easier with this win. Even if we would have gone home 1-1, we couldn’t have accepted that. We wanted to go back home up 2-0, and we’re doing that. It’s a beautiful thing.

The responses from the fans to this blog have been outrageous — just great. I appreciate everybody writing in, and I wish I could write back personally to every person. That’s impossible, but I want to say thank you and I appreciate it. Keep writing.

I want to say hello to my family — my mom, my dad, my grandmother, my sister, my little brother. I also want to say hello to the guys who are from around my block who wrote in to me. Keep writing, and believe me, I’m reading it and seeing you guys’ response. I deeply appreciate it.

Working out and seeing San Diego


Preston Wilson kicks back during workouts in beautiful San Diego.

It’s an off-day, and we just came in and practiced. Everybody
did what they had to do — ran a little bit, threw a little bit, hit a little
bit, lifted weights but not too heavy. Now we’re going to go and enjoy our
families and friends and enjoy this beautiful city of San Diego. I’ll go out to dinner, take in a movie and go
to bed early because we have an early game tomorrow. It’s at 1 o’clock, so we’re going to have to be at the
field by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.

I have some friends I’m visiting with who live out here in California.
They drove down to see me. I’ve never been to the zoo here, but there are a lot
of other great parts of this city. A lot of the restaurants out here are just
wonderful. The atmosphere is great. Obviously the weather is beautiful. It’s
outrageous. I can’t even explain it.

Everybody used to always tell me, ‘You’ve got to go to San Diego.’ And I was always like, ‘Are you serious?’ People
would say, ‘Believe me, when I say it’s the best city, it’s the best city.’ And
now I believe it. I enjoy myself a lot here. Everything is walking distance
from the ballpark and the hotel. If you need to take a cab, you can, but I usually
ride those little bicycle cabs where you sit in the back. It’s fun doing that. San
Diego itself is beautiful.

I’m eager to get a chance to get my feet wet in this
postseason, but it’s like I said last year. Whatever position they put me in, I’ll
be ready. If I start, I start. If I come off the bench, I’ll be ready for that
too. I just prepare myself every day coming to the field like I’m in that
lineup. If I’m not, I just have to prepare myself in other ways. I always come
to the field thinking as though I’m starting.