10/05/2004 6:37 PM ET
Sanders praises Woody's start
Cardinals outfielder shares thoughts on Game 1
Reggie Sanders is playing in his fifth postseason, but his first as a St. Louis Cardinal. The well-traveled outfielder has bounced around quite a bit in recent years, but one constant has been winning. In 2001 and 2002 he played on National League pennant winners before spending a year with the Pirates in 2003. One of the best-liked players in the game, Sanders had another solid season in 2004, batting .260 with a .482 slugging percentage, 22 homers and 21 steals in 26 attempts. He'll be checking in with MLB.com after each Cardinals playoff game for as long as the Redbirds survive.
This was a key game for us. We set the tone. We all know that in a series, game No. 1 is the most important game. So to come out with a bang and set the tone a little bit is great. And Woody Williams ... Woody just did an amazing job. He surprised a lot of people. It was good to see him on point and really on top of his game at a time like this.
Playing in the playoffs here in St. Louis is a different experience. It really is. The fans, from the beginning to the end, are into the game. They're definitely on top of every play. Just the emotion of it all, it's just impressive.
If it was your first time being in the postseason, it could overwhelm you. As players, we all know that with experience you learn how to channel your emotions and not get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. We have a lot of guys that can help each other, which is the most important thing. And it's what we've done all year. As a group we're helping each other. That's a strength of this ballclub. It really is.
This is my fifth postseason, and each time you play in it, you handle it better. You learn how to channel your emotions. You learn how to handle things and stay on an even keel and enjoy it. You don't let it consume you.
The schedule is strange, with a day game today, an off-day and then a night game, but really what we try not to do is try not to get too wrapped up in it. We try to kind of go with the flow and not get too hyped up on the timing. We've still got to go out there and play.
It is a different animal. But the way the scheduling is, in the postseason, it's always erratic. It's one of the adjustments that you have to make. It's always been like that. There's no change.
Reggie Sanders' 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.