EDITOR'S NOTE: Brian Schneider, a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and a graduate of Northampton High School, will be sharing his thoughts about various items over the final weeks of the 2010 season. His diary, as told to Jeff Moeller, will run periodically in the TIMES NEWS.
"It's nice to get back on track on this road trip. We have started hitting the ball again and our pitching continues to be strong. The time change is always a little tough when I'm out here (West Coast). But this is our last big road trip. After this, we're basically on the East Coast. I hope it works out here. It will be good to be home again often in the last month.
The Padres have great pitching and a good bullpen. There were a team to be reckoned with. But we came up big when we had to. Their guys still throw hard and are hard to hit. I wouldn't necessarily want to face them in a short series. These three teams will give us a run because they are all still in it.
I was glad we got away (from Philly). We needed it. Boy, we had some wacky things happen especially when (Roy) Oswalt got into the game. Sometimes, I don't know about the umps. For the most part, they dod a good job. But things probably got out of hand. Let's leave it at that.
I can't forget about this long stretch -24 games in 22 days. August is over. Times keeps flying in this game.
We've had ups and downs with our offense. It happens. It's just one of those things. We'll get our sticks going. We're getting the pitching and playing good defense.
I was glad to see Cole (Hamels) finally get a win. He has pitched great and in some tough luck. (Joe) Blanton also had a strong game and his stuff has been nasty. He (Blanton) has really improved his game and he is allowing less hits and striking out more guys. If we're going to compete for the long run, we need four solid pitchers. And don't forget Kendrick. He has also done a nice job and throws hard.
(Roy) Halladay and Oswalt are real horses who always want the ball. They don't like to come out and would finish games. They can make mien and Chooch's (Carlos Ruiz) job easier.
I'm looking forward to the long haul this year. Our September needs to turn into out October. By now, I have been used to being out of it (division race or wildcard). I used to start thinking about the offseason and my job for the following year. Right now, I don't want to start thinking about that. It's great to be playing with these guys. We're all in this for the long haul.
It's been a blast this year. I know a lot of guys who were counting down the days on teams I was on in the past. That would always happen in the clubhouse. When you're looking at a few weeks to go before it's over..yeah.. you do look forward to going home. We used to talk about all kinds of things in the offseason. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate when you're team is out of it. It didn't used to be fun playing in the cold when you have nothing to play for.
But I'm in a pennant race. It still feels like May or June for a while. It just can't change anytime soon."