Goosebumps ... numb ... excitement
Rowand fulfills dream of playing in the World Series
Aaron Rowand officially can say that he is the proud owner of a base hit during the World Series, a single that is typical of the White Sox style of play, as he slapped a hit-and-run grounder to right in the second inning to help set up a two-run rally. Rowand also can add that he's the starting center fielder on a team with a World Series victory.
Rowand actually reached base twice on Saturday night, with a single and an intentional walk, during the White Sox 5-3 victory over the Astros. In this latest installment of Rowand's Journal, done exclusively for MLB.com, he talks about playing in his first World Series game, winning pitcher Jose Contreras and the power of closer Bobby Jenks.
Every kid dreams of playing in the World Series and to be here in front of the home crowd, and to run out on the field to a standing ovation, you get chills. You get goosebumps.
Actually, you get numb. Your body goes number. You get tingles up and down your body. You go out for the national anthem and you get called out and the crowd is going crazy. You almost well up a little bit. It's not nerves, as much as it really was excitement.
Once the first pitch happens and you fall back into your routine, it gets normal again. I mean, we are playing close to our 200th game of the season, so you get back into the routine quickly and everything becomes par for the course.
We haven't faced Roger Clemens for a while, so I don't know if he was on or off. Guys were taking good swings on him. We've had a pretty good track record against him with the Yankees. But we are going to take it for what it is, a win right now, today. We have some big games ahead of us, and tomorrow's the biggest.
Going on what Jose Contreras has been doing, as well as he threw tonight, that still wasn't his best stuff. I saw A.J. (Pierzynski) telling him a couple of times to get up higher and get on top of his delivery at times. We got it going pretty good, though, when he doesn't have his best stuff and threw the game he threw tonight.
But everyone in our lineup contributed. Every pitcher contributed. We played a good all-around game. We didn't lack in any one area. That's how we played all season long. We might not be great at anything but our starting pitching and relief pitching, but we are pretty good at everything.
Bobby Jenks ... he's just incredible. I don't know what to say about him. He comes in throwing 97 to 100 mph and then breaks off that yacker on Jason Lane. He has no fear. That kid has no fear. He goes out and pitches his game and if he gives up a hit, he gives up a ball hit hard, it doesn't bother him a bit. If you can hit him, fine. I'll come at you again. He's just cool, with ice water flowing through his veins.
The fans were awesome. When we got that last out tonight, the stadium was shaking. It's by far the loudest I've ever heard this place.
You know what, ask anyone on this team about going 13-1 (since the final week of the regular season), and they will scratch their head and say, "Really?" Every game that we played since the playoffs began has been a focus on that game.
We are all concentrating on the game at hand and the game we are playing at the time. Our goal is still out in front of us. Win, lose or draw, after the season, we'll look back and take a look at what we accomplished. There's no reason to look back now. We have to look ahead and finish this out.
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.