We’re going to try to do the same thing against the Reds that we did in St. Louis, which is play well. We’re playing a contending team and we want to keep the streak going and try to win a series. Quade’s doing a good job, everyone’s still playing hard, as we’ve been doing all year long. The bullpen has been shutting guys down like we need and we’re scoring enough runs for the starting pitchers. We’ve got a Reds team, they might like us as players, but I think every team in the Central loves to beat the Cubs and they’re one of them. We can play the role of spoilers and make it tight for this Central race. Let’s see if we can win a couple here and let St. Louis gain some ground, and, at the same time, killing two birds with one stone, we play well. We’re trying to finish up strong. It’s a nice atmosphere in here when we’re winning.
It’s just a different voice with “Q.” Sometimes change is good for a team. At the same time, we lost a legend. It’s got to be tough on “Q.” It’s just something where I don’t know if it shocks players when you see a guy like Lou leave. Older guys have seen it. Young guys, it might be a little shock to their system. “Q” brings energy that he’s brung all year long. It’s just a different voice, and I think it’s showing in how we’re playing.
The last six weeks, Padres, Braves, the Cardinals again — they’re all first or second-place teams. They’re all in the thick of things. The Giants come to town and we’ve got Cincinnati again. You still have to get up for the games and that makes it a lot easier instead of playing teams that are having down years like we’re having. The competition is there, you see the fire on the other side. There is something to play for. It’s not fun getting spoiled if you’re the other team. When you’re the team doing it, it’s a lot of fun. It gives us something to play for. You can’t look past this season. You want to try to finish strong and go into the offseason with positive attitudes.
For me, personally, this is going to be fun. Seeing the team looking back at the scoreboard, seeing what the other team is doing to them and us trying to beat up on them. Cubs versus Cardinals, you will always see fire in those games. This whole homestand will be very difficult. Tough pitching. We have to put it together and try to have some fun.
I was traded late in 2005 from the only organization I knew to the Washington Nationals. The weird thing about getting traded is, you’re thinking, “It’s going to be great for me, a new start” and everything, but you never really know what you had until it’s gone. It seems like since I got traded, I was always trying to get back to Philly some way, some how.
For Theriot, it’s the first time he’s been through it. The Cubs will always be home for him. This is the organization he came up with. When you get drafted by an organization, you think you’re going to stay there your whole career. On the flip side, Ted Lilly has been through it. I’ve been on four teams, I think this is his sixth team. I don’t think it really fazes him. It’s the business aspect of the game.
It seems like the first time you get traded, you take it personally. You have to transfer all that energy into playing the game instead of trying to show your old team, “Hey, see what you’re missing.” That can be a positive or a negative. It was a negative for me when I went to Washington. I was trying to show the Phillies.
Everyone wishes Theriot good luck. Ted’s a vet, he’s been in this game a long time and he’ll go be Ted Lilly. We just want Ryan to go be Ryan Theriot and not try to prove anything to the Cubs, not try to prove anything to L.A. He’ll be fine.