Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Arizona outfielder Reggie Sanders played a pivotal role in steering the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series. Sanders is sharing his thoughts with MLB.com throughout the Series. Here was his take after contributing four hits, two runs and a run batted in to Arizona's 15-2 romp past New York in Game 6 Saturday at Bank One Ballpark.
|Sanders (right) greets Damian Miller after they both scored on Tony Womack's single in the second inning.
PHOENIX -- What a day. Let's start at the beginning. I woke up this morning about 9, went and ate breakfast at 10:30 and came here about 12:30. I felt very nervous, felt this to be a must-win for us. Once the game got started, everything kind of relaxed and got focused.
It was just an unbelievable game for all of us. Everybody contributed tonight, kept the pressure on them. For whatever reason, we seem to play extremely well with our backs up against the wall. We've done that all year long. Nothing has been easy for us. So what makes you think it's going to be even easier in this situation, so it's great.
Looking at my at-bats. The first was a double that bounced to the wall in center field. That was a fastball inside where I knew (Andy Pettitte) was coming in in that situation. I'm glad I was able to put the head on it to drive it over Bernie's head.
The second at-bat was the RBI single against the new pitcher, Jay Witasick. I was looking for a fastball in in that situation. He started me off with a slider that was a ball. And the pitch after that was a fastball inside that I drove in between short and third. That was a great motivator for me, with a guy in scoring position, to drive in a run.
My next at-bat was in the same inning. I was totally aggressive in that situation and didn't focus as much as I should have. I was trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark and a strikeout is what happened. Somebody had to end that wild inning -- and it was me.
The next time up, I led off the fifth with the single to right. I hit the ball off the end of the bat off a changeup by the left-handed pitcher (Randy Choate). I was trying to stay up the middle on him and I was able to drive it between first and single.
Then I led off the seventh with another single through the hole to left field.
After my six strikeouts in the previous games, it was gratifying to get as many hits as I did, a real motivator for me. A lot of guys got a lot of hits tonight, something that we hope can carry over for all of us.
Sunday is going to be exciting. Game 7, a must win for both teams, it's going to be a lot of fun. We're going to go out there and continue to try to put pressure on these guys. We need to get on base and score runs in whatever ways we can get them. And we're going to get great pitching from Curt (Schilling).
I won't change my routine at all. I'll pray to the Lord to keep us strong mentally and physically, and just go from there. I'll come in ready to play. It's a one-game season now.
Reggie Sanders is an outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks.