Playing the Giants was kind of a weird “road trip.” Everyone gets to sleep in their own beds, and it’s such a short drive over to San Francisco that it doesn’t feel like you’re on the road at all — except when you’re out in the field.
They don’t seem to like me too much out there in left field. Not a lot of nice things being said. A few nice things, but not many. More heckling than anything. But I don’t think it’s personal or anything. I have a feeling they treat anyone from an opposing team the same way out there.
Coming back to all play in all these National League West ballparks that I’ve played in so many times with the Rockies — AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Petco Park in San Diego — has been pretty interesting. There’s a certain level of comfort in being familiar with the field and the stadium, as well as with some of the pitchers. It’s not so comforting when you face the some of the better pitchers, but it’s definitely nice to play in some familiar places.
As for the cities themselves, it’s not that different for me than being somewhere I haven’t spent a lot of time before. I just don’t get out much, no matter where I am. I’m a homebody — at home and on the road. I hardly ever leave the hotel when we’re out on the road.
Being on the road, I think, is good for a team in terms of getting together and spending some time with each other away from the field. When we’re at home, everyone kind of goes their separate ways, but we’ve already have a couple of team-type dinners on the road this year, with quite a few guys. It seems like our schedule has been kind of weird so far this year, though, so there hasn’t been a lot of opportunities for stuff like that.
Overall, I think we’re coming together pretty well. The more time you spend together, the more you get to know each other, and that can only help you as a team. But the fact that we’ve had so many injuries, with guys going in and out, and guys from the Minors going up and down, it takes a little time. The guys are starting to come together and make some friendships, though.
I don’t know if that’s the reason we’ve been playing pretty well in June, but it can’t hurt. I do know we’re doing a better job with situational hitting, and that definitely helps. Batting averages don’t always tell the whole story, because if you’ve got a runner at second and you ground out to second base to move the guy over, you’re 0-for-1 and your average goes down. But you helped the team, and that’s good baseball. We’re doing more of that lately, for sure.
The pitching has been good, too. That’s a big part of it.