I'm ecstatic that we have Pedro Astacio going in Game 2 against the Cardinals. Pedro likes the big games. Always has. I've known him since he was just starting out in rookie ball (at Kissimmee in the Gulf Coast League in 1989) when we were with the Dodgers. I was an older guy, out of college, and he was a kid, 19 years old.
Astacio is a warrior. Even as a kid, he wanted to pitch the big games -- and he didn't want to come out of a game. He took us to a championship in rookie ball that year.
Watch. You'll see a guy sweating, working, thinking, pitching like it's his last game. That's the Astacio I've known all these years.
We were actually traded for each other back in 1997 when I came back to the Dodgers. He went to Colorado and became the winningest pitcher in franchise history. You know you're tough when you can conquer Coors Field like he did.
He might not throw 94-95 mph like he once did, but Pedro does know how to pitch. He knows how to move it around, keep guys off balance, make the right pitch for the situation. He doesn't get rattled out there. He has a great attitude. If you need a big win, I'll take my chances with Pedro.
After Texas let him go, his mentality right now is to prove he has a lot left. He came here and has been pitching tremendously down the stretch. A lot of people were amazed by his consistency, but I wasn't. I've seen him do it time and again.
We have some excellent starting pitchers on this team, guys who have performed at a high level in the Major Leagues. There's a reason he's our No. 2 starter. He earned it. You've got to look at the respect he commands from the coaching staff and the manager, to go with him in Game 2, when we have other guys who are proven quality starters.
That's a tribute to Astacio and the hard work he's put in since he came here. He earned this opportunity, and he'll be ready. I'm excited to be part of it. I'm really looking forward to being out there and doing everything I can to help us win this game.
Mark Mulder can deal, but we'll try to have quality at-bats and do what we do best: get on base, move runners, keep the train moving.
Eric Young's diary appears as told to MLB.com reporter Lyle Spencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.