Rookie outfielder John Rodriguez wasn't even in the Cardinals organization until midseason, and even after a trade to St. Louis he wasn't on the 40-man roster. Yet an amazing month at Triple-A Memphis, combined with injuries on St. Louis' big league squad, led to an opportunity for Rodriguez to play in the Majors for the first time. Rodriguez will be checking in with MLB.com throughout the playoffs to share his experiences with readers in his first taste of the Major League playoffs.
In the fourth installment, Rodriguez discusses the team's frame of mind with a 2-0 series lead, and shares his thoughts on the exploits of veteran teammate Reggie Sanders.
Being up 2-0 right now is a tremendous thing, especially going into their place. If we can just take that next one and get it done, it's going to be an awesome thing. But we also have to be ready, because the Houston-Atlanta series could go to five games. So even if we clinch Saturday, we have to stay sharp.
But just to be in the situation that we're in right now is amazing. I never doubted my teammates. Just sitting there, watching what these guys are doing is amazing. Clutch situations, a squeeze play today, Albert Pujols executing a hit-and-run, good defensive plays -- we've been doing that all year.
It's nothing new to my eyes, but to the fans and to everybody watching us on TV, it's a big thing. It's just amazing.
Reggie Sanders just works so hard. That's the good thing about Reggie. He works very hard. Even before he got back from his injury, he was in an air cast and he was hitting early, making sure that he was working out and making sure everything is right. So when he did come back, he was ready.
When he first came back, his timing was a little off, but that's normal with a guy being out that long. But now, it's just like, oh. I knew that one game in Cincinnati when he walked three times, I knew he was on from there. I knew that was the start of something.
And I'm glad he's doing it right now, because this is a big time to be on fire. That's what he is, is on fire. Eight RBIs in two days? That's unheard of, right there.
I really can't say too much about Padres Game 3 starter Woody Williams. I really don't know him that well. But he's going to battle. They're going to battle. But like I said, we're going to take the next game like it's the last game.
I want to be sure to say hello to my uncle, his family and my mom, my dad and my little brother. I just want to tell them I'm thinking about them every day.
John Rodriguez's diary appears as told to MLB.com reporter Matthew Leach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.