Here’s the first entry from Aubrey. We will post his player blog information very soon.
What better day to start my blog than after the most exciting game of the season?
I’ve never been in a playoff game, but I imagine that’s what it feels like. And I’ve never been in this kind of rivalry. I knew Giants-Dodgers was big, but I had no idea how big because all you hear back east is Yankees-Red Sox 24/7 on ESPN. It is definitely intense – I think the fans are even more into than the players, to be honest. You had 50,000 fans yelling against us last night. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a louder chorus of boos than when the Dodgers made the third out of the ninth. It was awesome.
It wasn’t just that we won. It was HOW we won. We battled back in a way I’m not sure we could have done a month ago. Now we’ve won 11 of the last 13, and we know exactly why. Not only has our starting pitching established dominance again (with Timmy’s struggles last night an aberration), but our offense is so much better. I don’t think anyone expected us to be doing what we’re doing now offensively.
Pablo is looking so much more comfortable at the plate since the break. Torres is the sparkplug. I can’t say enough about what he’s done – a huge hit again last night. He brings energy into the dugout and clubhouse. (And he’s a sweet guy. He probably says hi me nine times a day.)
Posey – what can you say about this guy? He’s smart, he makes adjustments, and he’s levelheaded. He’s never going to be a big ego, a guy with the fist pumping and pointing. He’s already got a veteran’s mentality with his approach at the plate and catching behind the plate.
Sanchez is great little No. 2 hitter who really changes the dynamic of the lineup.
And I’m feeling good at the plate. I know people are making a big deal about the year I’m having but I’ve had good years in the past. I just had them in Baltimore and Tampa Bay and nobody cared.
It was tough not being the lineup last night. It’s probably harder to watch a game like that than to play in it. Bochy figured if he was going to give me a day off, it made sense to do it when Kershaw was pitching. He’s so tough against left-handers. I knew Bochy was likely to call on me as a pinch-hitter at some point, so after about four innings I was getting loose on a stationary bike in the clubhouse and so watched part of game on TV.
But I was in the dugout when Kershaw hit Aaron Rowand. It was a weird thing to hit him when they were up by only one run. That got us fired up a little bit. That got us going. I know fans sometimes have questions about these unwritten rules, like when it’s bad form for a pitcher to throw at a hitter, or when a hitter is justified in going after the pitcher. When Kemp took a few steps toward Timmy, that made no sense because obviously Tim was struggling and wasn’t trying to hit him. We were all a little jumpy right there, waiting to see what was going to happen. And Bautista definitely wasn’t trying to hit Russell Martin. But by then, though, the Dodgers are all fired up because we’re making a comeback.
So then Kershaw hits Rowand. We’re getting a little hot in the dugout, but Rowand just walks to first because it was a “good” hit-by-pitch. Kershaw hit him in the right place. He wasn’t going for his head. He hit him in the leg. Now, I imagine, it’s all over and done with. They got their retaliation shot in, and that’s it.
The thing that’s so important about this game is that it was a real team win. You had Rowand dropping a sacrifice bunt. Burrell with the big fly to left (that Paul dropped). Torres with his two-run double. Pablo with his double down the line. Posey with an RBI single. The relievers were great, with Affeldt closing it out.
In the clubhouse afterward, everyone was just telling everyone else what a great job they did. It was just a big moral victory, coming back like that with their best guy on the mound. I was thinking about how some teams might have slipped into a funk after having a game stolen from them the way we did over the weekend. But we didn’t let it affect us. Now we’re on the verge of sweeping the Dodgers. Once you have two wins, you don’t want just to win the series. You want the sweep.
I thought last night about what Bengie said to us on the bus when he found out he had been traded and was saying goodbye: “You guys have something special.”
After playing on such awful teams for most of my career, I can’t tell you how happy I am to playing for San Francisco.
Hope you enjoy the blog. Not sure how often I’ll post. But send me your questions. Happy to answer them if I can.
See you next time.