But in this latest installment of Rowand's Journal, done exclusively for MLB.com, the center fielder praises his team's pitching and overall play, but also cautions against changing up the White Sox philosophy for Sunday's possible historic clincher.
The pitching we are getting really is nothing short of amazing. Three complete games in a row are unheard of, especially in the playoffs, let alone the ALCS. We've been riding on their backs all season long, so we would like to get another good outing from Jose [Contreras on Sunday].
They are hitting their spots and keeping the Angels hitters off balance. You don't see many pitches out over the plate. They are coming in on the outside corner or the inside corner, or even the bottom of the zone. They aren't making mistakes, if any at all. And the less mistakes you make, the better off you are. You aren't giving up big hits.
We did a lot of scoring in the first inning this year, and it really starts with Scottie [Podsednik] getting on base. Then, we have some guys in the middle of the order who have a chance for RBIs. It's huge to get out early, get on top, and take the heat off the pitcher.
There's no doubt there was a history of us not playing very well out West, especially in Anaheim, coming into this series. But none of us are thinking about last year or even early this year. We came into this game thinking about today and now we focus on tomorrow.
That's the one thing this team has done so well all season, staying focused on the job we have to do and not looking at the outside stuff. It's the playoffs and everything else is on the backburner. Nothing else counts or matters.
Gloves are off during the playoffs. It's all about who wants it more and who gets the big break and big hits. We are playing a good team over there and you have to be on your toes and be ready to go every pitch of every inning. If you let up at all, they can jump up and bite you.
Even though we are one win away from the World Series, we are looking at [Sunday] like it's Game 1. We are coming out to play Game 1 [Sunday]. That's how you do it. It's been one day at a time all season and if we veered away from that, we would be doing ourselves a disservice.
It's definitely an important game, but we really are looking at it like the series opener. If you try to put too much into it, you tend to get away from what gave you success in the first place. We will try to get on them early and go from there.
Aaron Rowand's postseason diary appears as told to Scott Merkin a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less