Game 1 win takes a little pressure off

Game 1 win takes a little pressure off

Chris Burke is providing daily commentary to MLB.com throughout his team's postseason run. Burke breaks down Houston's performance after its big 10-5 victory over Atlanta in Game 1.

Tonight's win was nice, especially with a national audience, for guys to show up as well as they did. Morgan [Ensberg] has been great in RBI situations all year long. He continued that today. Craig [Biggio] had a big game, getting us going. Orlando [Palmeiro] had some big hits.

Really, a couple of balls almost left the yard. Adam [Everett] almost hit a homer and Orlando almost hit a grand slam. Our guys had some big at-bats today and that was fun to watch.

We felt so confident with Andy Pettitte taking the mound today. You knew once we got the runs early, that we were in a good spot. He's just so focused and he minimized his damage so well. He got a huge double play from Brian Jordan when we needed it. Even though he gave up the three runs, off two great pieces of hitting by the Jones boys, once we gave him the 5-3 lead, I felt pretty good about it.

Even though we went up by a lot after our big eighth inning, the neat thing about the playoffs, at least what I learned last year, is you don't ever really feel too comfortable until the game's over. Teams just battle so much. Obviously, they put a scare into us the last inning. It was good that we were able to keep adding on, keep adding on to the lead. It was nice for a lot of our guys to get off to a good start. It gives our guys a lot of confidence the rest of the series and also gets some of the media off their backs.

To be guaranteed that we can't leave Atlanta with anything worse than a split definitely takes a little pressure off. At the same time, sending Rocket to the mound tomorrow, you know you're going to have a good chance to win the game. Hopefully, we can keep having good at-bats throughout the lineup like we were able to today. If we can steal two here, that would be great.

It would be nice to score 10 runs for Rocket tomorrow, but with Smoltz going, you can't expect anything than to hopefully win it in a 2-1-, 3-2-type game. That will be our mindset early. You never say never.

Chris Burke's postseason diary appears as told to Alyson Footer, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.