10/13/05 12:20 AM ET
Tough start to NLCS
Burke settling in at plate, but Astros drop Game 1
Our loss in Game 1 was unfortunate. The game started out where it looked like maybe we would get to Chris Carpenter early. We had our best guy out there, Lance Berkman, with the bases loaded. He did exactly what you want him to do, which is smoke a ball. Unfortunately, it was right at Mark Grudzielanek, and he was able to turn a double play. That was a big turning point in the game.
But we'll take our chances with Lance up there every time with the bases loaded. It just didn't go our way that time. Hopefully we can reverse that trend on Thursday, because it seemed like they were getting all the big hits in Game 1.
When you get the bases loaded off a guy like Carpenter, you can definitely feel it in the dugout that this is our shot. That's kind of the neat thing about the postseason, the hightened intensity. Hopefully we can make good on those opportunities in the future, but at the same time, it's not like you can be displeased with the at-bats. In the first inning, Morgan Ensberg hit the ball right on the nose, right back at him. Lance smoked one in his at-bat. The breaks didn't fall our way, but it was nice to battle back and give them a scare late in the game.
A quick note on the home run. I've been asked a couple of times if I'm starting to feel comfortable at the plate. For me, not normally being an everyday player, comfort usually comes when I've had 20 or 30, 50 at-bats. But I was definitely feeling comfortable to finish the season. That's kind of carried over to the postseason. I would never imagine that if I had four at-bats in one game that I would have a double and two homers. I'll try not think about it too much, and hopefully keep doing the same thing.
I've heard that I'll be starting on Thursday, against Cardinals lefty Mark Mulder. He's tough. He's probably the toughest left-hander I've ever faced. We're going have a tough task at hand. At the same time, we're sending a pretty good guy to the hill [Roy Oswalt] ourselves. Runs are going to be at a premium. It would be nice to scratch out a couple of runs early so Roy can go out with a lead and pitch comfortably.
In the postseason, really for us since the All-Star break, each game has been the biggest game of the season. Thursday will be no different. Hopefully we can play our best ball in Game 2.
Chris Burke's diary appears as told to Alyson Footer, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.