10/24/2005 7:16 AM ET
Chris Widger: Picking up a teammate
Chris Widger (right) chats with A.J. Pierzynski prior to Game 1 of the World Series. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)
I don't think we're at the point where we expect to win every game like World Series Game 2, but I don't think we're surprised when we win them, either. We believe in everyone who's out there playing. We sit on the bench thinking something good is going to happen.
When you're as close as this group is and you pull for each other as much as we do, you develop an inner confidence that you're going to find a way to win, whether it takes a hit batter, a bad hop, a walk or a home run like Scott Podsednik's.
Scott was facing the best closer in the National League -- and maybe all of baseball -- and hit a walk-off home run. It makes you wonder if something special is happening here and whether maybe someone is looking out for us.
Nobody expects more of himself than Scott. He can go 4-for-5 and still get mad at himself because he didn't get it done in one at-bat. But he's come through far more than he hasn't, whether it's with a walk, a hit or a stolen base.
It was kind of surprising to see him hit a home run, though, because he didn't hit one during the regular season.
Nobody started feeling down after we lost the lead in the top of the ninth. If anything, it gave us motivation to pick up Bobby Jenks. We all realized he was probably feeling as bad as he's ever felt before. Nobody on the club would ever blame him for anything, yet we knew he was probably kicking himself a little.
Bobby is such a good guy and he's done such a good job for us that we all just wanted to do what we could to pick him up. We wanted to win the game so that the story in tomorrow's newspapers wouldn't be, "Bobby Jenks blew that save."
But we wouldn't have been in position for all of that to happen if Paul Konerko hadn't hit that grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning. That was a huge lift for us, but it's the kind of thing we've come to expect from Paul.
It's very rare in any sport that your best player, your superstar, is also one of the best guys on your team. Paul is that guy. He's a great guy on and off the field. He's a 40-home run, 100-RBI guy who seems to get every big hit you need.
We haven't played a game like this before, where you take the lead, then lose it, then come back again, especially in a World Series setting where there's all of this emotion. This is all very new to a lot of us. But to come back and get the win in a game like that will make for a fun plane ride to Houston and an enjoyable day off on Monday.
From a confidence standpoint, it doesn't get much better than this. But we realize that we just did what we needed to do by winning both games at home. There's a lot of World Series left to play.
Chris Widger, 34, has played parts of nine seasons in the Majors, primarily as a backup catcher, and has a .242 career batting average. Last season, he played for the Camden Riversharks of the Independent Atlantic League.