First things first
For me, and I think for a lot of the guys, we’ve been waiting for this. Being in first, you can take a lot of pressure off yourself as far as looking at your own numbers and things of that nature. When you see your team at the top of the list in first place, now your numbers seem like they go out the door. It’s the team that matters. Whether you’re having a good year or bad year, the team recognizes, “Hey, we’re in first place right now. We have a couple months left and it’s all about winning baseball games.”
If you can take the focus off what you’re doing as an individual, I think that’s the main goal of our team — to have everybody involved in that team aspect of things and just concerned about winning ballgames. There are guys who got off to slow starts and I think being in first and really concentrating on what the team needs to do to stay there is only going to benefit everybody. At the end of the year, you usually see guys on good teams will have pretty solid years individually. We have to be smart enough to realize that. If you can have a good year as a team, your numbers will be right where they need to be.
All the injuries and all the ups and downs we’ve gone through, we can finally see ourselves in first place. We know it can go away tomorrow with a loss and a St. Louis win. But it’s helped us kind of refocus on what’s important, which is winning baseball games.