Chris Burke

Ph_429663 This is frustrating, because the White Sox have made more plays than we have, and that’s why they’re up three games. But we feel like we could have easily won all three of these games and we came away with none of them. That’s the frustrating part — we’ve done some things really well, and we haven’t capitalized in all phases of the game.

We’ve come up short each night. It’s kind of tough to handle that we’re now one game away from elimination.

It definitely makes it harder to deal with a loss when you think about all the chances we had to win the game. Pretty good chances. I had a chance to win it and I’m frustrated that I didn’t get it done. We had some chances before that, and after it. It was one of those things where they made the pitches when they needed to, and at the end of the day, we didn’t.

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Chris Burke

Burke275 First and foremost, Jeff Bagwell and Brad Ausmus decided that the beards had run their course, and that it was time to go in another direction. Being down 0-2 to the White Sox, they decided that we’d whittle the beards down to goatees and see what kind of luck that brings us.

I found out by word of mouth, through the grapevine in the clubhouse. I saw a couple of guys at the sink shaving it up. They informed me that Bagwell had made the executive decision to remove the beards and hopefully change our luck.

Tonight’s loss was unfortunate, because I felt like we played well. It was a tough night to be a reliever, cold and wet. Those guys were sitting out there for a long time. Unfortunately, we just weren’t able to hold the lead and weren’t able to extend the game.

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Chris Burke

Burke275 First and foremost, Jeff Bagwell and Brad Ausmus decided that the beards had run their course, and that it was time to go in another direction. Being down 0-2 to the White Sox, they decided that we’d whittle the beards down to goatees and see what kind of luck that brings us.

I found out by word of mouth, through the grapevine in the clubhouse. I saw a couple of guys at the sink shaving it up. They informed me that Bagwell had made the executive decision to remove the beards and hopefully change our luck.

Tonight’s loss was unfortunate, because I felt like we played well. It was a tough night to be a reliever, cold and wet. Those guys were sitting out there for a long time. Unfortunately, we just weren’t able to hold the lead and weren’t able to extend the game.

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Chris Burke

I felt like we played a good game tonight. We put pressure on them all game long. We had some good at-bats, we hit some balls hard. You have to give (White Sox third baseman) Joe Crede credit. He played unbelievable tonight, in both aspects of the game.

We had our chances. With our team, the best thing is that we got chances. I’m definitely encouraged by the fact that we had good at-bats up and down the lineup and putting runners in scoring position. We came up short. We at least came out and played a solid game. They got the bigger hits than we did.

Tonight was kind of what you imagined the World Series feeling like. It’s cold and there’s that crispness in the air, electricity in the stadium. It was definitely special. At the same time, I was just fired up about getting the series going. I can’t imagine those guys having five days off to just sit around and think about this that and the other. We only had two.

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Chris Burke

Burke_3Wednesday night was a lot of fun — just the celebration and the
realization that we’ve come back from the heartbreaker in Game 5 and
accomplished our goal. Now we’re moving on one level higher.

It’s great that Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell are able to
finally play in a World Series. It just brings some closure and
finality to the end of their great careers. Obviously they still have
some baseball left in them, but they can at least say they played in
the World Series.

But we’re here to win the thing. We feel like we’re playing our
best ball right now. The way our guys are pitching, we feel like we’ve
got a chance to win it. It’s obviously a big event and there’s kind of
a circus going on right now, but I’m looking foward to everything
narrowing down and getting more focused on baseball.

The night we clinched the NLCS, everyone had their families in
the clubhouse after the game. Having my parents and brother there was
awesome. They just don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes stuff.
There’s so much that you want to share with them, but you just can’t
tell them how it all works.

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John Rodriguez

7v7ttnwe It’s the end of a great run. I just want to say to all the fans, I had fun while I was here. Hopefully they give me a chance next year. I’ll definitely try my hardest to be either one of the starters or one of the guys on the bench again in the new stadium.

I had fun. I had a lot of fun. It’s kind of hard right now, but I definitely enjoyed myself.

Now, in the offseason, I’ll hang out with the family for a little bit. And then in maybe late November, I’ll go play baseball in Puerto Rico. I can’t just sit around. I get bored easily.

And that’s it. I’ll get ready for Spring Training next year.

Chris Burke

Burkebump200What can you say? It’s kind of fitting that we clinched the NLCS on
the road, after starting the season off as the world’s worst road team
in the history of the game. The irony of this season continues to
build.

I just feel like this team’s been blessed. We’ve got a lot of
guys that are really locked in and grinding right now, and we’re
playing almost above our heads.

I think it speaks volumes about the fact that we’re playing
better offensively than we have all season long, even though we’re
facing the best pitching in the game. It’s just an honor being a part
of this team. We’re just fired up about what’s ahead for us.

I really feel like as gut-wrenching as a loss as it was on
Monday, I don’t think there was a guy in this clubhouse that felt like
we weren’t going to bounce back. I feel like it’s impossible to let
something like that go immediately.

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John Rodriguez

Ph_431138 Oh my goodness. Let me just start off by saying that. Oh my goodness. God is great. God is beautiful. God is life. God put that bat in Pujols’ hands in that situation, and told him, ‘It’s your time, son. Come through.’ And he did. Wow.

It’s my first year. I’m blessed just being here in the big leagues, and now I’m blessed to have this experience in the postseason. And now to see something like this… We’re going to Game 6. I told you it was going to be a war. I just can’t believe how loud the crowd was today, and then just to mute it with one swing of the bat is unbelievable.

I think I should have been a little bit more patient with the first strike. I should have let Lidge pitch a little bit. But the adrenaline was kicking in. I should have known a little bit better that I can’t hit a two-run home run when there’s nobody on base.

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Chris Burke

Burkerun200 The amazing thing about this game is not only the highs and lows that can be associated with the entire season, but the highs and lows that can come about throughout the course of a game. When you play a game of this magnitude, it can get you to the top of the mountain and it can get you to the bottom of the valley.

In case people were wondering if we’ve got any resolve, we’ll be able to show them by the way we bounce back from this one. Albert Pujols is the greatest hitter in the game. Unfortunately, it showed up at the right time for them.

I think everybody could feel that we were going to win this game. We were down to the last pitch and we had our guy, Brad Lidge, on the mound. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. David Eckstein is such a tough out. Jim Edmonds draws a walk and Pujols blasts a three-run homer. There’s nothing you can really say about it.

Fortunately for us, we have a day off to kind of regroup, mentally way moreso than physically. We’ve got to look at it that we’re up, 3-2. We’ve got Roy Oswalt and Roger Clemens left.

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Chris Burke

Burke_2What a game on Sunday. People think walk-off home runs are fun, butthat was as much fun as I’ve ever had. Well, maybe not the most fun
I’ve ever had, but that is just a great way to win a game.

It says a lot about the guys we have on this team and the fact
that when Phil Garner puts somebody in, he’s counting on them to make a
play. We have so many guys capable of making plays, and I think that’s
really one of the biggest strengths of the team.

Eric Bruntlett is just such a good defender, no matter where
you put him. He made an absolutely perfect play and Adam Everett made
one of the best turns that I’ve ever seen to complete that double play
that ended the game. I don’t think you could have turned that double
play quicker or better than he did.

And Willy Taveras made a huge catch in the eighth inning. There
were just a lot of little things and a lot of people pitching in Sunday
to help us with the victory.

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