Obviously you knew when it was all said and done, whoever won Game 163 — fortunately it was us — the celebration would have be short. You wanted to cherish it and you wanted to enjoy it, but at the same time, you knew you had a game 18 or 20 hours away. So we did that. We cherished it, enjoyed it and headed here.
On the plane ride, I think exhaustion took over. It wasn’t all that exciting. It wasn’t loud by any means. Guys were either sleeping or listening to the radio or watching a movie. It wasn’t jovial. I think it would have been a little more exciting if we didn’t’ have to play today.
We didn’t get into New York until very early this morning. I think I got to sleep around 4:30, 4:45 a.m. — somewhere in there. It was a tough turnaround.
You could sense when we got here today that guys were still a little exhausted. I think the adrenaline took us through the first few innings, but after that, the past four days or so kind of took its toll on us. But we put ourselves in that position having to play that last game. So you take it and can’t use it as an excuse. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win tonight, but we’re going to recharge tomorrow, and hopefully Friday, we’ll come out with a little more life.
Taking the early lead was a good start to the night for us. I was on the bases and didn’t get to experience much of the excitement in the dugout after we scored that first run. But once the passed ball came and Joe Mauer scored, we felt good about the lead. But you know you’re not going to shut down the Yankees. You know you are not going to win 2-0, 1-0 or anything like that. You know that’s just not going to happen with that team. So you have to continue to put pressure on them.
They came out and Jeter’s home run answered right away for them. It was big for them to come out and hit a big two-run homer just after we scored two runs. In my opinion, that was probably the turning point of the game. Because we couldn’t put the throttle down again after that.
The off-day will be huge for us. Just to rest, more mentally than physically. I think we are all more emotionally drained right now. Physically, you are going to be tired. There are lots of points during the season where you are going to be tired, but to go through those five, six, seven or eight games that we just went through — the emotional roller coaster and mental drain — that’s where we need the break. So that’s going to be really nice day off. Let your mind ease.
For the last month, all we heard about was how we couldn’t get back
into the position to win the division, how the Tigers were going to run
away with it and how the nail was in the coffin about 10 times. But we
still found a way to get it done. So to all the naysayers, we just
don’t listen. We just try to get it done. Here we are down 1-0, but they
still have to win two games.
What you ask for when you come in to Yankee Stadium in the postseason
is to leave with a split. Obviously to go up 2-0 would have been a
you want to leave with a split. And that’s what we’ll try to do Friday.
We want to take it back to our house with a good chance, and we still
have that opportunity.