A good year comes to an end

I think overall we can look back on this year as a success, even though it was certainly an emotional roller-coaster, especially the last five or six weeks. But this was a huge success for us as a team and an organization. You can’t take that away.

Getting to the postseason was a big deal. Obviously, once we got here we would have loved to win and to advance deeper in. But I think all of us know that getting here in the first place is a huge accomplishment.

When I look back, I’ll definitely remember that Cubs game on the last day of the regular season. The emotion was incredible, and it hit home what it meant to the city. Then the celebration, that was awesome. You play this game to spray each other with champagne, you know what I mean? That will be my lasting memory of this year, without a doubt. I never got to do that before. In college, you don’t get to do that kind of stuff.

I hope we do it again next year. I think we’re going to be good, but this is going to be a very interesting offseason personnel-wise. I am interested to see who we bring back, if we trade anyone. We have to see what happens with Ben Sheets. With CC, there is a chance he will be back. Who knows? That would be awesome. What he did down the stretch, working on three days’ rest, that’s one of the most unselfish things I’ve ever seen. That guy has $150 million on the line, and he put everything at stake for us. That’s cool.

I also can’t thank the fans enough for coming out and supporting us all year long. They played such a huge role in what happened this year and it was really cool to share the season with everybody. Hopefully we will have more to cheer about next year.

Until then…

Time to switch things up

I am sorry to announce to the world that I’m superstitious. Therefore, I have no choice but to put the blog on hold while we get this thing turned around.

What else could it be? I fully blame the blog for the fact that we’re losing. Clearly, the blog is responsible for all of our offensive struggles. If I weren’t doing the blog, there’s no question that we would be up, two games to none in this series, instead of down. I can’t let this go on another day.

I’m kidding, of course. Sort of. But it’s time to switch things up a little bit. When we win these next three games and get into the NLCS, I promise to get the blog going again. That’s our little incentive for making it happen.
In all seriousness, though, I have to say how much we appreciate everyone who has been following along and cheering us on this season. The fans make a huge difference and we’re all looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd tomorrow night to get back on track. Until then, no more blogging for me. 

Time for a three-game streak

I don’t have much for you today. What this comes down to now is that we need to win three in a row, and we’ve had plenty of three-game winning streaks this year.

We’re excited about going home to Miller Park to play in front of our fans. We’re comfortable there, and they are going to help get us going.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for that to happen, for the bats to get going, but we haven’t been swinging well for a while now. We need to find some ways to score runs, but this is not the first time we have faced any adversity or pressure this season, and we have been able to turn it around before.

I was asked tonight if our confidence is low, and that’s never the case. What this comes down to is we need to swing the bats batter, but we are still confident. It’s not going to necessarily be easy because the Phillies are a good team, but we know we have the capability to do this.

Game 1 in the books

Hey, everybody. Not the greatest day for us today.

Really, it wasn’t much different than any other day other than the fact we had to get out there on the foul line for early introductions. That was pretty cool, even though the pregame routine was messed up a little bit. There was a little more intensity, a little more enthusiasm from the crowd.

I suppose that’s how you should approach it. It’s a bigger stage, obviously, but it’s nice to feel comfortable, like it’s just another game in the regular season. The circumstances are bigger and I think we all understand what’s at stake, but, really, it didn’t feel too much different.

The game itself? Frustrating. Cole Hamels threw the ball extremely well and the umpire gave him a lot of borderline pitches, which caused us to swing at a lot of pitches we probably shouldn’t have swung at. Still, he pitched great, he’s one of the better pitchers in the league and he deserves a lot of credit.

We’ve got CC Sabathia in Game 2. Any time we have CC pitching, we’re in great shape. We’re confident going into Thursday’s game and I feel like we have some momentum from at least scoring a run in the ninth inning and getting into position to tie that game. It was the first playoff game for a lot of us, so getting those jitters out is definitely a good thing.

This is nothing new for us, either. We have dealt with so much adversity. We struggled at times through September and we’ve dealt with a lot. By no means is this the position we want to be in — you want to win Game 1 — but we’re not afraid to have to respond to adversity or a tough loss. It’s fitting, I suppose, to do it this way.

Down to business in Philly

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Here we are in Philadelphia and everything from Sunday to now is just a blur. The whole day Sunday was really exciting, totally nerve-wracking, and it was so weird showing up to the ballpark for a game and not knowing if we were going to be staying in Milwaukee, going to New York or going to Philadelphia. None of us had any idea where we were headed or what was going to happen ahead of us.

The game that day against the Cubs, obviously, was extremely tense, extremely dramatic. And then even when we won, we had to wait for the Mets and Marlins. Watching that game, to me, was more nerve-wracking than playing our game. It’s hard to watch something that you have no control over and has such a huge effect on our future. It was obviously exciting when the Mets lost and we clinched the Wild Card.

Then, it was just mayhem.

It was extremely hectic and wild for the next two hours. We were celebrating, doing interviews, getting our itinerary and figuring out what the next two days would hold for us. We stayed there for a while — I probably didn’t leave Miller Park until 8 p.m. because we were hanging out and enjoying it and talking about the year. Then we went home and got changed and went out downtown to this place called Martini Mike’s with the whole team. Mark Attanasio, our owner, came out and there were a bunch of fans in there. We just had a good time celebrating, drinking, dancing. It was cool that the fans were there because getting to the postseason is a big deal for us, but those people have been through 26 years. Now they can be proud of their hometown team, proud of Milwaukee. That means as much to us players as anything else. I had grown men coming up to me, crying, and telling me what it meant to them and their family. That put it in perspective a lot.

Still, I didn’t really have an opportunity to reflect on what we just accomplished until Monday morning. Between doing interviews and celebrating, all of the champagne and beer, it wasn’t until I watched SportsCenter, looked at the Internet and read the papers that I understood what a big accomplishment it was for us. Then we went to the rally event down at Summerfest on Monday night and it totally exceeded what any of us though it would be. It felt like we just won the World Series.

We’re excited to have this chance. We have always been able to keep things in perspective and to understand that part of being a young team is being inconsistent. Because of that, it’s been an up-and-down year, but when we’re going good, we can be as good as any team in baseball.