Last year at this time, I was a guy coming off the bench when the playoffs started, but for me, it’s not really all that different in the way I’m approaching it. I’m treating it the same as last year. Even at the start of this year, I didn’t know if I’d be playing every day.
So last year I just got prepared like I was going to start every game and I was ready to go off the bench. It’s the same situation preparing for it.
Of course, I did get to start for our final six games last October, and that gives me confidence this year, just that I had success at the ultimate stage, which is the World Series. As a Major League baseball player, there’s no better stage than that. I would say the biggest thing is confidence.
I come in on a good hitting streak from the end of the regular season, and I’ll continue to do what I’ve done. Don’t try to do anything more or less. I was putting in the same amount of time before I got on the streak, so I’ll just go out there and play, and play hard. At the same time, you don’t want to try to do too much just because it’s the playoffs.
Playing the Angels, they have great pitching. They’ve found different ways to score runs. They can do it with the long ball, they can do it playing fundamental baseball and moving runners over. That’s what makes them tough. They can play the little game or the power game. Sure, they took it to us really good in the regular season, but that’s the regular season. Those games don’t matter now.
I think we’ve been playing very well, much better than last time we played the Angels back in late July. It is the postseason. It’s different than the regular season. It’s win or go home now. We’re looking forward to the series. We have Jon Lester going in Game 1. We have a ton of confidence in him and we’re looking forward to it.
We’re a confident team. We know what we can do, we know what we’re capable of. There’s a lot of guys in here that have a lot of postseason experience. I think the biggest thing is not really changing anything. We’re ready to go every game and just go in with that same type of confidence.
This is the fun time of year. A lot of teams aren’t fortunate enough to be in this situation, making the playoffs. It’s a big deal to make the playoffs no matter whether you won the division or go in as the Wild Card. We want to be there until the end, but the first game is Wednesday, and right now, that’s the most important one.
Today, we got in our workout. I feel real relaxed right now. On Wednesday, I’ll just go to the yard ready to go, get a good night’s sleep and go out there fired up with the rest of the team.