Finishing with our heads held high

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the fans for supporting us this season. It was an exciting ride. It wasn’t the ride that we wanted to finish on, but it was exciting nonetheless. Really, through all the adversity, I think this team showed a lot of character. More than anything, it’s something to build on. I think that if we didn’t go out there and finish the year like we did, playing good baseball, that would be something that you’d have to maybe hang your head about after the kind of year that we had.

It’s a baseball town in Detroit, and it’s exciting to be able to entertain and give the fans something to watch. We feel like we’ve done that. We want to get back to where we were. We want to get back to the World Series. We want to win a world championship. We think we’ve got the team to do it with. Baseball’s a funny game. Sometimes you come up with injuries. Coming into the season, we were so strong. But obviously, you have to stay healthy to have guys perform like they can perform. Those are challenges that we had to deal with all year long, But we stood up to the challenge. We just didn’t achieve what we wanted to.

So on to the offseason, and a little break from the ball. We’ll get it going again in about a month. We have some well-deserved rest as soon as this finished up. Everybody will be excited to get home. It’s kind of funny to sit here talking about next year already, but that’s how exciting and fun it is for us as players and the community. Baseball is a rich tradition, and we understand that. We’re glad to be part of it.

On to the halfway point

Natebig

Not sure where to begin other than, from a personal note, getting back in there, I’m feeling pretty good about things and going through the process of being on the DL and all I had to do, evaluating everything on and off the field. It was a good period. It was tough, but it was a good time to get a little peace of mind. Looks like it worked out pretty good. The results were good last start. More importantly, where we are as a team, what we’ve done as a team to this point, dealing with all the adversity, it’s funny.

This year, it doesn’t feel like things have come easy, and yet we’re still in a really good position as a team to make a run at this. I think it’s easy right now to focus on a lot of what’s negative just because the expectations are high, obviously, and it seemed like it was going so much smoother last year. But if you focus on what we’ve dealt with to this point, guys on and off the DL, key players on and off the DL all year long, our early-season slump at the plate, guys have just picked it up and been world-beaters now. Certain guys weren’t performing like we know we can, and then picking that part back up. This is a good club, bottom line, and that’s where the focus needs to be is that this is a good club. Stay positive and think about the good things, because you know, through all that we’ve been through, we’re still right there in first place and I think in a good situation to make a run at this thing.

The no-hitter, obviously, there’s been constant reminders around here. We’ve had encores on TV and stuff, but that’s something that you can’t forget, ust sitting over there and watching it and not knowing what to do. I mean, people think the pitcher’s out there and he’s nervous, and the fans think they’re nervous. We’re not playing, especially the pitchers sitting over there, and you can’t really fathom what we’re going through.

One thing people are asking questions about what we do on side over there during that. You don’t talk a whole lot about it. You just let the guy do his routine, stay out of his way and don’t mention what’s going on. We all know what’s going on. You don’t have to say it. And that’s just the superstition of it. Especially with a no-hitter going on, just let it play out. It just kind of seemed like it was a night, as it went on, it was just going to be a magical night. Fun to watch, and I’m as proud as heck of him. That’s a heck of an accomplishment.

Moving on, we have the All-Star break coming up and the first half coming to an end. It’s really been quite a ride, actually. It’s probably been more of a ride this year than it was last year for everybody. We come to the park and we know we’re a good team. We know about the expectations, obviously, for this team, but as long as we get the job done, it’s like: Would you rather lose pretty or win ugly? Winning games is what we’re trying to do here. It’s good fun to see some of these guys take off, especially offensively. We’ve had a couple pitchers that have been lights-out as well. It’ll be fun to see how many guys get on that All-Star club. Obviously Magglio and Gary and Curtis and Guillen and Polanco and the way Sean’s been hitting over the last two months, and Ingy and Pudge. It’s just like on and on and on here. You’ve got players who’ve just been playing really, really good baseball in all facets.

And then from the pitching staff, obviously, J.V. is coming into form, just being the kind of pitcher that everybody thought he could be. And Bondo’s unbeaten streak, that was pretty amazing. I don’t care how it got there. The guy’s obviously got to pitch well and good things have to happen. That was awesome, fun to watch. Getting Kenny back and watching Miller up here a year removed from college and having the success that he’s had, and having guys step up like Durbin in the many roles that he’s had. The guy’s come in and been a sparkplug for our whole staff, starting, relieving and being so versatile and having a great attitude.

It’s a good group to be around, and we’ll get everything right. Think about how scary that can be if we make everything click on all cylinders. We’re doing the kind of things like Tuesday night, where we turned the game over from the seventh inning on with a 3-1 lead. We won a lot of ballgames like that last year, and we will win a lot of games like that this year as well. These guys, we’re all going to get right. It’s too good of a team. We’ve been there. It’s just about going out there with the confidence and obviously with the health. We believe in each other. It’s been fun so far and we hope this ride continues.

One more note: The fans, with me, have been so positive and supportive throughout the time away. And I really appreciate it. I read several entries in there believing, and that was really pretty awesome.

Coming together, dealing with injuries

In the last entry, we were talking about hovering around .500 and talking a little about knowing the kind of team we have and things like that. Since then, we’ve run off 11 out of 12 games we’ve won. That’s just a testament to what kind of team we have and what we’re capable of doing, and obviously not just talent, but guys coming together and playing the game the right way and believing in the system that we have here. As we touched on before, complacency doesn’t happen here. It doesn’t settle into places like this, but it can happen. We were hovering around .500, but not worrying about where we were and how we were playing at that time.

It’s such a long season, still a lot of games to play, but we’re playing pretty well and dealing with injuries. We talked before about losing Kenny and Vance, and now Joel. Having these guys around means a lot to us, especially the younger guys. Certainly for Rabelo to be around Vance, and obviously Kenny to the pitching staff. Having them around is good. Obviously it’s difficult on them to not be able to go out there and perform. It’s more about how this team has responded to that, dealing with it, and still running out there and coming together and picking up where those guys aren’t able to contribute. That’s big for this team.

Waiting to put it all together

Just to get off the bat and answer a question, no come-out songs here. People were asking what kind of come-out songs do we as starters have, and none of the starters have songs. I’d like to say that we’re a little less maintenance, but what we do and why the bullpen guys do have come-out songs is because what the bullpen guys do is so much more of a high intensity that I think they need their moment to get locked in and music obviously helps some of these guys. We just go out there to whatever the stadium plays to get the game going.

Moving on to this past week, week and a half, I think the biggest thing, obviously in the paper and on record, our head’s right above .500 and we really haven’t caught stride yet. We’ve got a great team here. We just haven’t all put it together. I think the guys in here, nobody’s lost any faith in anybody. Again, we do know how good we are. We’re just waiting for us to all put it together. Baseball’s really kind of a funny game. You look at our team and last year, this team with less talent went to the World Series, and now we’re really an upgraded team and just haven’t caught stride.

But also, keep in mind, so that nobody’s discouraged, that this division is the toughest division in baseball. Now, certain people won’t get into that. I think every team in the Major Leagues is a quality team. You’ve got to have talent to be here, but I think that man for man and player for player, this is the toughest division. I don’t want to say it’s the most talented, but it is the toughest division. You’ve got really good ballclubs. And what makes a good ballclub is how guys fit together, how guys mesh and the chemistry. It’s not necessarily the talent on the team that wins. But this team right here, the reason we went as far as we did, we have talent, but we work well together and we have a manager who has a system that he put in play and we followed suit. And that’s what makes good clubs.

You look at the managers in this division: Eric Wedge, I know Eric Wedge, and Eric Wedge is a no-nonsense kind of guy. Ron Gardenhire, his track record speaks for itself. Ozzie’s had success over in Chicago. And Buddy Bell, I’ve heard nothing but good things about him. He’s earned the respect of his players, and I think that’s the biggest thing, how players play for their manager and how they play together. They all have to believe in something, so that’s why I want to reiterate the fact that everybody in here believes in each other and they believe in the system. That’s why we know we’re going to be fine. We just need to put some things together. We’ve had some dramatic wins and we’ve had some dramatic losses, and that’s just really kind of where we’re at right now.

The funny thing is I think even with losing a couple games here and winning a couple games there and just kind of floating around .500, we’re only a couple games out of first place. And everybody’s beating each other up. That’s not only just in this division. Really, it’s across the league. Eight days ago I looked in there, and every team in the league except for one team was within two games of .500 on one side or the other. So there’s nothing to be concerned about. I think there is concern.

I’ve read a couple blogs where there’s concern about players and why guys are starting slow, and that’s the toughest thing about the game. You go out and you’re successful and there’s the expectations in the following season and going out and repeating. I said this before, in Spring Training, that so many things have to happen in order for us to get back to where we were. Guys have to perform at the same level. You have to stay healthy, and you have to have those guys who come in and produce when the other guys are down that you weren’t expecting to produce. You’ve got a couple of classic examples, and we were talking about this the other day on the starting pitching staff. When Mike got hurt last year, Zach Miner came in here and won six straight games. It was huge. At the end of the year, he was 7-6. But at that point in the season, when he came in and did the things that he did, that was a heck of a rookie year for him. What he did was huge, and that’s the kind of stuff that has to happen.

You have to have guys perform at the same level. Kenny’s gone right now. We’re going to have to have guys step up. That’s the kind of team that we need to be. The Minnesota Twins have been doing that for years. The Minnesota Twins have guys go down and they have some player come up and fill a hole. You never heard of him and he’s great, he’s scrappy and he gets the job done. And that’s what it’s going to take for this team to be successful. When we do lose some of our key players, we’ve got to be ready to go. Our key players need to go out and do what they’re capable of doing. And we’re going to be fine.

I think for the most part, this team’s got everything in the world to be proud of, because where some guys aren’t necessarily performing to their level, other guys are picking them up. I mean, we’ve picked each other up pretty good so far. So that’s just shedding some light on where we’re at right now for anybody that’s reading in. We’re going to give the fans and everybody around the city plenty of dramatic comeback wins. We’ve done it already. And I know that this city is still every much alive. I had some kids Saturday yelling at me. We were down 11-3 in the ninth, and I’ve got some kids screaming at me because they’re telling me it’s gum time. Eight runs. I’m a big believer that anything can happen, but we’ll just keep gum time down for right now. But, you know, what’s awesome about that is people believe that we can do it, even at 11-3. They believe that we can put it together, and they’re all up there in the front row behind the dugout at yelling at me to get it going.

Back again

Last time we talked it was right when the season was about to start. I’ve seen a lot of responses now that the season has started, and more than anything, it’s good to see that everybody’s excited about another year. Coming back home and getting a chance to play at home to start the season was exciting, but it went by really quick with all the ceremonies, the banner raising, the ring ceremony. And then when that was all said and done, we were right back on the plane on a 10-day road trip. That was kind of taxing. It was taxing to the guys.

So far this season, we’ve had so many close games, I know that we’re giving everybody a thrill ride so far. And really, that kind of defines who we are as a team, obviously, with a couple of those comeback wins — where there was some gum involved, just so the faithful know that I have been responding. Because on the road games, they don’t see us in the dugout so much. The cameras on the road don’t scan the dugout like they do here at home, because the cameramen on the road don’t usually know what we’ve done with our little thing. But we had some big rallies and came up with some huge wins, obviously KC and having a late win in Baltimore, then in Toronto and against KC again. Three wins on the road like that is tremendous, especially late in the game off a guy like that who’s supposed to be nailing the game down. That’s what kind of team we are. Yeah, we’d obviously like to pull games away like Bondo’s games, the pitching job he’s done, and Verlander. You’re talking about guys going out there and giving outstanding starts. But it’s early on, and we’re in good position right now as a team. Our offense is going to start scoring a lot of runs. That’s just going to happen. But it’s good to get going again. It’s good to see that people are following along, especially here, and I do read all of them.

It would be nice to get back into a routine. We have a weekend series with the White Sox, with the Friday night game and two day games and then we’re flying back out. We’re going all the way out to the west coast for two games, and that’s just really confusing. I know that I have to go out and do my job on the mound and I’ll let other people do their jobs, too, but that one confuses me a little bit. And then we come right back to Chicago for two and come right back home. It’ll be good to get in a nice, long home stretch. A 10-game homestand would be nice.

But for the most part, everybody’s having a really good time. We miss Kenny, miss having him around. He keeps in touch, just for all those who wonder how he’s doing. He calls guys on the staff like myself and Bondo pretty much every other day just to see how everything’s going. He watches every game from home, follows the team, and he’s excited to get back with us. It’ll be good to have him around the clubhouse again. It was good to see Jamie Walker when we were in Baltimore and listen to his little antics. He’s the same guy. We had a chance to put it on him in Baltimore when he came into the game and he put it on us. I guess it was the best of both worlds. We ended up winning the game and he pitched well, so that’s good. I saw him outside the bus after my start, and I know that he misses being around this clubhouse, I can say that much.

And the beard I’m growing? Normally I grow at least one beard per offseason. I didn’t really grow one this offseason. I don’t really like to shave anyway. Some say I have sensitive skin, I don’t know, I don’t like to claim that. But I’m growing one right now and it’ll be gone here one day. I’ll just walk in and decide it’ll be completely gone. There might be some remnants of a handlebar mustache or something. It’s just a thing I’m doing right now, I guess. You look at yourself in the mirror every day and you get tired of looking at it, so you switch it up and make you less tired. I don’t get too many good reviews on it. For the most part, people say I look like a mountain man. I don’t know if those are positive remarks, but I wear it anyway.

Here we go

Finally, we wrapped up Spring Training. You want to say for the most part that everything went great. We had a good spring as a team. A large percentage came out of it healthy, and then of course at the very end here we had a couple setbacks. I think a lot of people would agree that all good teams, if you are a good team, go through difficult times like this and overcome them. Because regardless of what the results will be this year, if we overcome losing Kenny and even Vance, because of his important role on the squad and what he does for us, if we can get through the part of the season where we don’t have these guys and play it as good as we can, we’ve got enough talent that more guys can come in and step up and provide. We talked about that before the season began. You have to have everybody competing at the same level in order to get back to where we were. To have everbody compete at the same level they competed at last year, you have to stay healthy. Now, if you don’t stay healthy, then you have to have those guys that weren’t expected to come in and produce for you, they have to step in and produce. Those are the kind of factors that have to come together in order for you to be a successful team.

Anyway, reflecting on Spring Training, it was a good Spring Training. Obviously at the very end, that’s not exactly what you expect, but the great thing that we have is a manager who has been there before, understands to expect the unexpected. He always preaches about preparation. He’s prepared for things like this to happen, and if they do, he knows how to address us as a club, and he’s done that. Everybody’s mindset right now is pretty solid. It’s obviously tough for us to lose a leader like Kenny, but I think everybody’s pretty well grounded on this, and we’ll be just fine.

Other than that, we’re excited about a new year, new beginning. Excited about the ceremony on Wednesday. If there’s any way that Kenny can come out and be a part of that, that would be great. It’s time to get going, and everybody’s excited about it. For me, as the only one who lives here year round, it’s back home for me. I enjoy coming down for Spring Training, enjoy the weather, getting going again, but it’s good to be back home.

As far as interaction is concerned, I’ve had a couple people ask questions about a few things. I will follow up, and I do read the blogs. It’s just easier once the season starts.

Dog days of spring

These days can sometimes be the dog days of spring training. Skip brought that up to the guys yesterday. I think it’s very relevant to this team just because, as we talked about before, there aren’t a lot of positions open, so guys are kind of getting a little antsy. The importance is to focus on getting our work done, and that’s probably the toughest thing. That’s a mental thing. We’re challenged even in spring training with that, the mental aspect of the game, because this is the beginning of a major grind. We’ve got less than three weeks left now. You pretty much know who’s on the club, and so you kind of want to get the season started. A lot of guys are getting really excited about Opening Day and getting rolling, but we have to finish our work here. And there’s work to be done. I think if you went down the line, each and every one of the guys would say that.

Right now, I don’t think anybody’s going to say that they’d feel good about leaving camp right now, and that includes me — although Kenny yesterday looked in midseason form. We talk as pitchers about being efficient, and he’s about as efficient as they come. He’s a contact pitcher and he makes his defense work, and his defense plays behind him. When the ball’s in play, guys are loose and ready to roll. That’s what Kenny tries to work on. He establishes his fastball first, works in his curveball later on. Each guy has a different work ethic. Each guy has a different part of his game that he’s working on down here, and that’s what it’s for.

But we get little teasers down here hearing that the weather up in Detroit was above 70 degrees. I think that adds to the anticipation of getting up there, although we know that it can change in two days. Or a day. That’s your typical Michigan day. I guess if there’s any kind of preparation that we need down here, we need some kind of cold spell to run through here, because it’s going to be a little bit cool.

Other than that, we still don’t have any reason to bring out the rally gum yet. I think most people’s interests are in that anyway. It’s funny to hear people talk about that. I still see people running up with their Gum Time t-shirts on. That was just part of the whole storyline last year, what this team had done in gaining back the people and the fans and the city. There’s probably going to be more excitement on Opening Day this year than there has been in over a decade. There’s always excitement on Opening Day. I’ve been part of three of them now. This year’s going to be different. It’ll be nice to see that pennant, that flag raised up, and the ring ceremony obviously. And that’ll put to rest 2006. That’ll be time to turn the page. It’s going to be fun, but we do have to finish up down here. We’ll see where it takes us.

A lot of folks probably ask what we do in the meantime. Between American Idol and the NCAA Tournament and NASCAR, there’s always something going on. Although NASCAR is popular in our clubhouse, it doesn’t quite match the NCAA Tournament. Some guys, these are their alma maters playing, and there’s bragging rights going on. And guys are, of course, picking teams, but we also did that with American Idol — some of us. I’m not going to say who, but there are some American Idol buffs in that clubhouse. A lot of guys are pretty down on this voting system with American Idol here lately. There’s a guy that keeps on getting through that a lot of guys are disappointed on. You’d be surprised how disappointed some of these guys get, man. It’s a topic of discussion.

But yeah, Major League Baseball players, we don’t just talk baseball all the time. We have fun with it. We try to have fun with everything, and Leyland preaches that. We need to have fun on the field, obviously, but a break from the action is always nice as well. It’s always nice to have it during spring training. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and last year we suited up one of our clubhouse kids. One of our bat boys, he had his leprechaun suit on. We’ll see if there’s anything in the making this year, though we’re on the road that day this year.

Welcome back

Welcome back to a new season, a new beginning. The last entry we had was the World Series and kind of a closure on the reflection on the 2006 season, what we did as a team, and obviously not finishing up what we were there to do and being very encouraged and happy with what we did do. Now, here we are.

This is a great time of year for all fans in baseball, not just Tiger fans. This starts the season of hope. I think the separation factor with our fan base and our team right now is the fact that we know what we’re capable of doing now, and that hope isn’t in, "We hope we have a good team." That hope is playoff hope, world championship hope. That’s a little bit better hope to have, as opposed to just hoping we contend in the division, or hopefully we’re in it in September, that kind of deal. It is one game at a series and one series at a time, but this is where it all begins. It’s certainly, being a Detroit native now, nice to come down here and let it begin down here. This weather might be a little cool for down here, but it triples the temperature in Detroit, so we’ll take it.

Coming back to camp, getting things going, seeing everybody again, even with the shortened offseason, I think everybody getting around each other was refreshing. If you were to ask everybody about their offseason, if they would’ve had a choice of having maybe a couple more weeks or another month maybe, I’m sure they would’ve taken it. Once you get down here and put the uni on and just kind of kick it around the clubhouse with all the guys and rag on each other and tell stories, it’s good to be back.

We know obviously the expectations — not on ourselves, but expectations in the world of baseball — have changed with this team. We’ve turned heads and we’ve gotten the respect that we wanted. We just have to uphold the respect that we’ve gotten. We need to understand that it’s not going to just happen. Everything we did last year, we fought for, every single bit of that. It’s just going to be just as hard this year, if not tougher.

Coming down here to camp also, just to be around not only the guys at the big-league level but to see the kind of talent that we have coming up, this organization has flipped so much since I got over here in ’03. We’re deep now, and it’s exciting to know that even if, going through a 162-game schedule, there’s a possibility that things happen, but we have the kind of guys that can come up and help out. That showed last year, eve. Clevlen came in and Miner came in and made a huge impact during a big-time stretch for this team. That’s always kind of been something that the Twins have been big on. They’ve always had some guy come up and be good, and that’s nice. That’s just the way it happens with the Twins, because they’re so big on their farm system. We have a farm system now, too, to take seriously, and that’s nice to have. And you get a chance to see these guys when they come in and play in some big-league games, and you see the kind of talent that they have, it’s nice to see we’ve established a foundation now. Attitudes are great. Guys are healthy. Hope it stays that way. And here we go.

We don’t do the rally chew right now, although there’s been plenty of fans wondering if it’s coming back out. And by demand, really, this blog is resurfacing, because there is interest in having it. And it’s good to have that interaction between fans and players so they understand a little more of what we’re trying to do and human aspect of it. But we probably won’t bring out any of the rally stuff here, although if we would’ve had another inning in Tampa Monday, it may have brought some out. That was kind of a stinger. It’s funny, because you go home and this is our team and it’s just a different perspective to watch it at home on TV. We don’t get a chance to do a whole lot of that. You’re still competitive. You still want to win those ballgames. I sat there and watched nine innings of baseball. And typically thoughout the year, when I go home I focus on family. But during Spring Training you’re just kind of seeing what’s out there, seeing how guys are doing. You’re just excited to get going again. That was fun to watch, especially since the last time a lot of those guys were on the field together was during the Division Series. It is about getting your team prepared, but it’s also fun to see guys come in that might be in the big leagues pretty soon go out and so something special. A lot of times in Spring Training games like that, late in the games, if anything dramatic does happen, it typically isn’t a regular doing it. So it’s fun for guys that come in there and have a shot at doing something like that.

The thing about Spring Training is it has so much more of a laid-back atmosphere. Not that you can’t relax and enjoy it throughout the year, and I guess it’s easy for me to say from a starting pitcher’s perspective. But there’s nothing better than being a starting pitcher in Spring Training. There’s no doubt about it. I’m not going to lie. We pitch every fifth day. The days we don’t pitch, we are not with the team on road trips. And so we have the opportunity to be done by anywhere between noon and 2 o’clock. You go home and you just sit back and you’ve got the rest of the day. You can go have a nice dinner. You can do some golf, spend a little time with the family, and then you can call your buddy up that was just on the trip and ask them how they did. I’ve seen guys after ballgames have been over with, maybe out to dinner or something, and they just got back in at 6:30 from the trip depending on where it’s at. And here you are, you’ve had the whole afternoon. You went and had some golf, went home to get cleaned up, took a shower, got a nap in, stretched out, and then went and had a nice dinner. And they had a long day in the sun. You play in the middle of the day down here, as much sun as Florida gets, it wipes you out. You get up early in the morning, get your workouts in. It takes it out of you. Afternoon naps are great.

Time to reflect

Dugout

Human beings are emotional people, especially when they deal with something as emotional as this. And it’s been a very emotional season. We’ve had a change of destiny so many different times. I think that there’s going to be more reflection. I know there’s disappointment obviously right now, but there’s going to be more reflection on how special the year was, as opposed to how disappointing it was to finish like we did. But I don’t think guys look at it as a disappointment the way we finished. I can’t speak for everybody else and how they’ll react to the result of the series, but I’m sure that as time goes on, there’s going to be a sense of reward for all the work that we put in.

It’s incredible to believe the season’s over. I guess that’s the risk you take. We knew going in tonight obviously that if you lose, you go home, and if you win, you keep on going. It’s tough to come to the realization that there is no tomorrow, but like I said before, as time goes on, it’ll soak in that we did some pretty awesome things this year. As a team, we probably in most cases went beyond our goals. We certainly achieved things that people didn’t expect us to achieve. And with the result that we have now, the next goal is to go ahead and win the whole thing.

I guess after we get home and pack our things and walk out of that clubhouse for the last time, once we do that, that’ll be the closure. And then it’ll be time to take a little break. It’ll be a little bit shorter break this year now, and we like it that way. But after that, you get back to business, prepare for next year and make a run for it.

It’s funny. Last year, you’re talking about just getting to .500 at this time. And here we are, making goals of winning a world championship. It sure would’ve been nice to get it done this year, but we’ve got a good core coming back. We’ve got a good team coming back. We’ve got a manager that we believe in. There’s a belief system here that you can’t take away. It’s going to be a fun spring and there’s going to be a lot of expectations going into next year.

Win or go home

It’s a tough one, obviously, to lose. And it puts us in a difficult situation to come back and do this, but Skip reminded us it’s one game at a time, bottom line. We know that, and we know where we’re at with it. And it starts with tomorrow. If we win tomorrow, we go back home, and we play two at home and we’ll be in pretty good hands getting back home. It’s up to JV to set a tone tomorrow and we go from there.

Grandy_1
It looked like the team we’ve been playing like this postseason for the first part of this game. We just couldn’t hold onto it. Just a couple situations. Grandy slips out there. It’s been raining here pretty much for a day and a half straight. Those things happen. Every little thing, it’s magnified and it’s a huge moment, and it can turn into a huge moment, too. But it can all turn around tomorrow, too. Momentum can totally shift. We know that. I’ve seen it. And it’s certainly happened before in the postseason, so we’ll see what happens.

We certainly would like to get out there tomorrow. Even though momentum’s on their side right now, these guys can go back out there and step up and do well. Nobody’s panicked here. We know what we can do. We’ve done it all year, but now it’s win or go home, and we know that. But this team’s achieved so much, and we’re not ready to wrap that up yet.

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