Having an off-day between the two games was great for me. I was by myself the whole day. I actually went to lunch with clubhouse manager Rod McCormick, bullpen catcher Nate Damman and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek. Then I went and walked through Central Park for three hours. I came back and took a two-hour nap before going out for a nice dinner.
It was nice to rest after what we went through this past weekend. It was exhausting. To be able to sleep and get away from baseball, from people, it was nice. I love Central Park. I don’t want to say anything bad about New York, but it’s one of the few things I really enjoy about the city.
You couldn’t sense a huge difference when we arrived at the ballpark on Friday. Because I think we came to the ballpark on Wednesday with energy. It was just that as the game went on that night, we lost it. Today, I think we sustained it. We showed the fire and went out and played well. But we just couldn’t hold them down.
A.J. Burnett is a tough pitcher. He’s got great stuff and he’s made $100 million for a reason. We weren’t discouraged or down when we missed chances early, because Nick Blackburn was pitching so well. He was giving us a chance to stay in the game. We broke through, scored some runs, and obviously we were excited about that.
When the eighth inning was over, we were pretty confident having taken a 3-1 lead. It felt like we were going to get out of here with a split, which is what we wanted anyway. With a two-run lead heading into the ninth, we definitely felt really good about the situation, because we had the best closer in the game on the mound for us. It’s just unfortunate that things like what happened to Joe Nathan have happened to us this year.
Nothing needs to be said in the dugout after that. You know what needs to be done — we have to go out and score. Unfortunately, we didn’t in the 10th, but we were able to get ourselves in another situation to score with the bases loaded and no outs.
Then Joe Mauer hits a fair ball down the line for a ground-rule double and it’s ruled foul. There goes all the breaks.
At the time, we didn’t have any idea in the dugout that Mauer’s ball was fair, because we couldn’t see it. It wasn’t until Nathan and Brian Buscher came out of the clubhouse, saying ‘What’s going on? It was obviously a fair ball.’ We couldn’t tell, and two pitches had gone by after that, so there was nothing we could do about it.
Then the inning didn’t go our way. Delmon Young lines out, hits a bullet right at Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Gomez grounds out and Brendan Harris flies out. It was just a series of unfortunate events.
We head home down 0-2 and on the verge of elimination. But prior to this series, we were in this situation for about six games where if we lost we were done, going back to that last game in Detroit, all the three games against Kansas City and then game No. 163. If we lost any of those games, we were done and wouldn’t be in this situation. We’ve been here before where we had to win. Now we have to win three games in a row.