Now we’re experienced
We certainly showed some grit tonight. We played a pretty good game. We really did. There’s so many things that could’ve changed, little tiny moments, but this team will be all right. We played a tough ball game.
I think that the playoff atmosphere here, it is different. I know that after the announcement of the players and the F-18 jets flying over, there was an emotion there that I’ve obviously never felt before. It was exciting, man. I got a little weak in the knees. I was out there in the bullpen watching. And when all the pregame stuff was all said and done, I felt great about going out there. The guys were excited, too. It was certainly not just like a three- or four-game series that you would have in the regular season. It was special, and I’m glad we had a chance to see it.
The big thing was I’m just proud of the way the team went about their business today and played a good ballgame in this situation. We had a tough weekend. We could’ve just had a meltdown here, and we didn’t. There was no mental breakdown. There was just a bunch of guys playing hard-nosed baseball today. We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. They beat us, bottom line. They beat us.
But the atmosphere here in Yankee Stadium is probably second to none for playoff atmosphere, just the mystique of it all and the history. It sure would be nice to get Game No. 2 tomorrow and go home with a split. That would be really big coming home with a split.
I felt really good about the game after we scored three, and then me going out there and getting a little shutdown inning after we scored. I just felt like we were going to flip it around. That sixth inning, that wasn’t supposed to happen, in my mind. It just happened. It’s tough. You go out there your whole career, you go prepare yourself to make pitches and you know what you’re trying to do with guys and you make pitches and they still get you, it’s tough.
Fortunately, we turn around tomorrow and come right back here. The big thing is, the experience of the first game of the playoffs, for everybody that hadn’t been there before, it’s all said and done. We got our feet wet, so we can kind of shove all that aside, come back tomorrow. Now we’re experienced. Hopefully I’ll get another chance in Game 5. Actually, it would be better if I didn’t get another chance and we get the next three.