Can you think of a better thing that could happen in a playoff game for a rookie?
CHRIS BURKE: I'm sure there's maybe a couple, but for me, obviously not even starting the game in the lineup, this is about as good as it gets. You know, there's so many things that happened throughout the course of the day, guys made huge plays and luckily I was the guy that made the final one.
Take us through the at-bat.
BURKE: We had obviously not done anything for a few innings. I was actually going up there, thinking about laying down a bunt the first pitch. Once he threw ball one, kind of changed my mind and decided to maybe try to hit an extra base hit, figured being ahead in the count, maybe I was going to get a fastball. Then ball two goes by. You know, to be honest with you, thought nothing different than I normally would in a 2-0 count, "Get a good pitch and take a good swing." That's the way it worked out.
Were guys kind of enjoying seeing what positions they were going to play from inning to inning?
BURKE: Yeah, I mean, the game turned into a little bit of a three ring circus. I mean, things were going on, Rocket coming out of the bullpen, Chavez played first base, Bruntlett played like 12 different positions. You know, it was just a crazy game. When they posted it was the longest game in postseason history, it was kind of, I didn't realize it, kind of lost perspective on the whole situation. So once you see that, you realize you're going to be part of history, it was nice to, I mean, honestly, any time you play an 18 inning game, you want to win it. You've been battling for so hard and so long, it's nice to win it.
Do you remember what you were thinking when you were rounding the bases, or is it one of the things you have no recollection of?
BURKE: Those moments, not that I've ever experienced that specifically before, but big moments like that always go by too fast. But, you know, I think I'll always remember smacking five with Chavez, and just the roar of the crowd. Those guys, I thought about it the inning before, they've been giving their hearts for six hours.
Have you ever had a more important hit, like even back to little league? Has there ever been a bigger hit for you?
BURKE: I've been fortunate to have some big hits, but obviously nothing even comes close to this. But, you know, I mean, today was such a kind of microcosm of our season, really. We started off really slow, made a wild flourish there at the end and came out on top. Hopefully, we can keep that script going and play the Cardinals tough.
Chris, the game kept going, extra innings developed. At any point in time did you allow yourself to, "The die may end up on me, I may be the guy that has the chance to win this game"?
BURKE: Definitely. I can't speak for the rest of the guys, but for me, in those types of situations, especially, unless you come up with a certain task at hand, whether it be getting the runner over, bunt situation, something like that, I know most guys in an extra inning situation, especially the home team, are probably thinking about hopefully getting the pitch to drive and ending the game with a one swing at bat.
It definitely ran through my mind a couple times. Fortunately, it worked out that way.
Did the move for you to run for Lance in the 10th, did that surprise you at all, or is that something you expected, that you'd be inserted in that situation?
BURKE: You know with Phil, he runs guys in there all the time. You always have to be ready. I think obviously he liked the spot with Morgan (Ensberg) and Baggy (Bagwell) coming up. He was figuring, I'm sure, that one of those two guys had a great chance to get a hit, and so he was trying to ensure us scoring a run.
I'm just a soldier. I do what I am told. When he told me to go in the game, I didn't sit there and think, "Is this the right move or not?"
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.