We were greeted by about 2,000 fans at the airport when we got back home to San Diego last night. Hopefully, that show of support will give us a little extra energy. You get down and frustrated after losing a couple of games, but seeing the energy and excitement of the fans can bring you right back up.When we were getting off the plane and saw all of the people, Joe Randa said, "It almost makes you feel bad that you didn't win a game in St. Louis because these people are really showing us a lot of support." At this point, it's all about the city and the fans, and hopefully we can go out and do our job on the field. Fans make a difference. The Cardinals definitely feed off their fans at home with the whole "Sea of Red" thing and I think we'll be able to tap into some of the energy that our fans bring to the game, too. When you're playing a great St. Louis team, you have to execute. We've outhit them for two straight games, but they've taken advantage of opportunities that we've given them. The demeanor in the clubhouse is still pretty good because we know we haven't played as well as we're capable of playing. They held serve. Now we have to take care of business here in San Diego. Our position is similar to the one I was in last year with the Red Sox, but it was an even more difficult task because we were down to our final three outs against the Yankees. Here, we have a full game to get ourselves back into the series. I have no doubt we can play with these guys. During the year, we went 4-3 against St. Louis. If you look at the first two games, we hit into seven double plays and I think four of them were hard-hit balls. If those balls find the holes, we could have had some big innings. But give the Cardinals credit, too. They made the plays they were supposed to make. Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder both made pitches when they had to. They haven't made any errors. They've executed some hit-and-run plays and a squeeze bunt, and they've taken advantage of the mistakes we've made. They're the best team in the National League, and to beat them, you have to play your best. It would be disheartening if we'd played our best baseball and they still beat us, but I really don't think that's the case. It's up to us to bring our "A" game. Dave Roberts had a .356 on-base percentage, stole 23 bases and scored 65 runs this season despite a variety of injuries that kept him out of 47 games. The Padres were 58-43 with their leadoff hitter and catalyst in the lineup.
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