Pablo’s Hogging all the Hits
A reporter after the game asked me what the big headline would be in the Venezuelan newspapers tomorrow.
“I think the big headline will be about my two catches.’’
That made him laugh. Obviously it’s going to be about Pablo. None of us could believe what Pablo did tonight. Even Pablo couldn’t believe it. In the dugout after the third consecutive home run, he said, “I feel like I’m dreaming right now.’’
He had three major factors against him tonight: Verlander, AT&T Park and the World Series. It’s tough to hit a home run facing any one of those, and he conquered all three. Three times!
I can’t even hit a single and he hits three home runs and a line drive.
I remember watching the Pepsi Home Run Derby on TV two years ago. It’s a big competition in Venezuela, and Pablo won it that year. He just blasted one home run after another. Nobody had seen anything like it. He put on a show for the whole country. Tonight he put on a show for the whole world.
He was already a big star at home. When he got off the airplane after the 2010 World Series, when he didn’t even play very much, there were so many reporters he could barely move. Now it’s going to be unbelievable. People will be mobbing him everywhere he goes. Maybe he won’t go back!
As for me, I hope I hit better tomorrow. But if I don’t, I always know I’ll contribute with defense. I cover a lot of ground in the outfield. I love that. It’s really fun to run down a ball and making a diving catch and hear the crowd explode. I can’t begin to describe what that feels like.
Part of the reason I get to so many fly balls is that I get a great jump. I have it in my mind what’s going to happen when the hitter makes contact. I can see the catcher’s sign so I know what pitch is coming. I know the hitter either from facing him before or watching video. Is he a pull hitter? A line drive hitter? A slap hitter?
Sometimes I’m moving before the pitcher even throws the ball
Am I wrong sometimes? Yes, but not often.
Today before the game, my dad and brother were filling me with advice on how to face Verlander. “He’s going to challenge you with his fastball,’’ my brother said. “Try to bunt!’’ I tell them, “Don’t tell me too much! Just let me play!’’
Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of the day my mother died from brain cancer. She also had breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the years leading up to her death. So I was really touched that I could hold up her name on the Stand Up To Cancer sign. I wrote, “MaMa, this is for you.’’ I believe she saw it and was really proud. Tomorrow I’ll light a candle in memory of her.