09/24/2007 12:18 PM ET
Sizemore: A year makes a difference
We put ourselves in a good position for the postseason this year by taking charge of our own destiny.
The last time we were in a playoff race was 2005, my first full year in the Majors. That year was a new experience for a lot of us and it showed. We faded down the stretch.
But that was part of a process. We're a stronger team now because a lot of the guys on our roster were part of that experience and learned from it. This year, we've put ourselves in a better position. It's tough chasing someone the last two weeks of a season. You want to make sure our season rests in our hands, not anyone else's. Our attitude has been, just keep doing what we're doing and not worry about the teams behind us.
We were a relatively young team in 2005 and we're still young. Last year, we just struggled and we're past that. Now, we're more experienced. Young guys have been making contributions all year and coming through in key spots. It shows in our record. I think we're a stronger team, definitely more mature.
Our pitching has become a big plus for us and it will hopefully carry over to the postseason. C.C. Sabathia gives us a great performance every time out. It's amazing how he can dominate the game. I can't put any guy ahead of him right now. But we're confident in all of our guys. It's just a matter of going out there and executing.
As for me, I've had my ups and downs this year. But right now, I'm not focused on myself. I just want to get these last wins and get into the postseason. Then I want to contribute once we get there.
I hope our fans are excited, too. It's been awhile since the Indians made the playoffs. This is great for our fans and the city of Cleveland.
Sizemore, who turned 25 in August, is hitting .276 with 24 homers and 78 RBIs entering the final week of the regular season. The center fielder, a fan favorite in Cleveland and a member of the American League All-Star team the past two seasons, also leads the Indians with 117 runs and 33 stolen bases.