Padres Interview: Craig Breslow

Craig Breslow had a one game stint with the San Diego Padres before rejoining the Double-A Mobile BayBears and then turning around and getting recalled again to San Diego – and what is the first question we ask him? You have had three at bats in Double-A, and no hits, what's the deal?

Craig Breslow: It has been a long time since I had any at bats. Since high school. I was just lucky to not get up there and strike out on three pitches.

Talk about your head swirling from all the activity over the last week and a half and perhaps back all the way to the Southern League All-Star game.

Craig Breslow: A whirlwind is the best way to explain it. Things all happened so fast it didn't really have a chance for all of it to synch in. At the same time it is something I will be able to look back on forever and relive over and over again.

You have a 1.82 ERA at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile and a 3.97 ERA on road, are you playing favorites?

Craig Breslow: For a while I didn't even realize that until someone brought up that I had been pitching pretty well at home. I don't know what it is. There is nothing that I do deliberately or consciously different but for whatever reason I have had better luck at home. That has caused me to bear down on the road and level out the consistency.

Oddly enough, most of your outings in Double-A over the last month have been at home:

Craig Breslow: Seeing how the disparity in the stats adds up that is alright by me.

How has Mike Harkey, Mobile BayBears pitching coach, been able to help the revitalization of Craig Breslow?

Craig Breslow: He has been hugely instrumental. It is always good to have a pitching coach who has pitched in the Big Leagues, a point that everyone he is working with wants to get to.

He is not an overly mechanical type of guy. He is more of a mentality and focus and preparedness kind of guy, which suits me very well because I tend to be over analytical at times. Someone who can take a step back and tell me what I really need to focus on, getting people out and not so much the intricacies of your mechanics has really helped me quite a bit.

Did it take a while to warm up to the 6-foot-8 Harkey? He can be rather frightening, I would imagine.

Craig Breslow: It definitely took me a little while to become comfortable. I was a little intimidating when I fist met him. He is imposing.

Jinx time: no runs allowed all year in the seventh inning.

Craig Breslow: I will pretend I didn't hear that.

You are a lefty who excels at getting righties out. Is that an oxymoron?

Craig Breslow: I think a big reason for that is I have had a very effective changeup this year. I am pretty reluctant to throw it to lefties. I rely more on my fastball and breaking ball. Because my changeup may in fact be my best pitch, I have had some success against righties.

Why the reluctance?

Craig Breslow: I think it is kind of an unorthodox pitch, especially arm slot to the batter and I feel like I can get lefties out with a fastball and breaking ball. There are a lot of opinions out there on whether you should throw lefties changeups and I think until I have to I will refrain from it.

Was last year kind of refreshing being in Independent ball, a place you could clear your head and not worry about scouts analyzing you each day?

Craig Breslow: I felt like once I was released, a huge burden had been lifted. I could finally go out and throw with no reservations, no hesitations and no pressure. The worst that could happen is I get released again and it is something I had already been through.

I went out to Independent ball and felt like I was just playing baseball. Having fun for the first time since I was a kid and as a result I was a lot more successful.

What was the shining moment of your first tour with the San Diego Padres and Major League debut?

Craig Breslow: I think actually throwing the first pitch. Once I threw the first pitch everything kind of fell down a little bit. I didn't have to worry so much about the surroundings, about the crowd. It was something that brought me back into some kind of familiarity. Once I threw that first pitch and it was a strike I started thinking that maybe I could do this after all.

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