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10/26/05 10:46 AM ET

Mike Timlin: A familiar position

Perspectives Archive:   

The loss that put my Red Sox team down three games to none against the Yankees in the ALCS last season was a little different than the game the Astros lost last night. We lost our third game, 19-6 -- it wasn't even close. It was a serious drubbing. So it got to the point where it was laughable. The attitude in the clubhouse was, "OK, we gave it a shot and got our brains beat in."

So everybody was asking that same question: How do you come back from being down 3-0? So we said, "We're just going to try and win one and keep from embarrassing ourselves." We had played hard all season and we didn't want to get swept in front of our home fans. There was a tremendous pride factor that took over. The fans in Boston had supported us all season, so we wanted to figure out how to win one game for them.

We actually tried to take it one inning at a time. Finally we worked through the first game and won. It worked, so we said, "Let's do the exact same thing tomorrow."

Once we won that first game and got back to the clubhouse, superstition kicked in and everyone decided to go about things exactly the way they had the day before. They dressed the same, ate at the same restaurants -- everything. By the time we won two at home, everything had been ritualized. By the time we got to New York with two wins, our whole team attitude had reversed. We felt like we had a shot.

In retrospect, I think the Yankees might have taken a deep breath and that's when we bull rushed them. At that point, it was too late to stop us.

Maybe the Astros can do something like that -- at least win a game -- because the players, the organization and the fans deserve a victory.

This might sound strange, but going down three games to none takes a lot of pressure off. You're against the wall and expectations are pretty low. You're either going to make a push or you're not, and the best way to do that is to just go out and have fun. You've already lost three games, so you need to go out today and say, "Let's just play. Play our best and give it a shot."

The Astros should adopt a similar attitude. They should just go out and play, do your best and enjoy the moment because that moment doesn't come around very often.

Mike Timlin has pitched for the Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, Cardinals, Phillies and Red Sox over 15 seasons in the Majors. During that span, he's reached the postseason eight times and pitched in three World Series. This past season, the 39-year-old right-hander made a record 81 appearances for the Red Sox, posting a career-best 2.24 ERA with 13 saves.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.