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 is checking in with MLB.com throughout the playoffs to share his experiences with readers in his first taste of the Major League playoffs.
Rodriguez coaxed a walk and scored a run against Houston's dominating closer, Brad Lidge, on Saturday. However, it wasn't enough in the Cardinals' 4-3 loss.
This was a tough loss. We can't hang our heads, though. They've still got to win two more, and obviously we've got to win three. This team is strong-minded. We're not going to hang our heads, not one bit. We're going to go out there like we did today, and try to come out on top next time.
It's a tough loss, but there's not one person on this team who's going to let this game get to them. Because if we do, we're done. There's no way we're going to get down on ourselves. There's no way.
I just approached Lidge based on having talked with Hal McRae, our hitting coach. He told me a couple of things, and also I went off my last at-bat against Lidge, where he threw a fastball away and two sliders. I just try to get something up where I can drive it.
His sliders, they look like strikes at first, then they dip. But you can kind of see the spin on it, so I just try to get a pitch up where I can drive the ball and get on base for somebody.
They outplayed us today. We went to war. We battled. But we came up on the losing side. Tomorrow will be different.
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.