send Matt your questions and comments and watch for a response in future columns. This week, Matt talks about a rough weekend, Ryan Howard's power and answers a reader e-mail."> send Matt your questions and comments and watch for a response in future columns. This week, Matt talks about a rough weekend, Ryan Howard's power and answers a reader e-mail.">

From The Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Phillies relief pitcher Matt Squires will be keeping an on-line journal, which you can read every Tuesday on <i>PhillyBaseballNews.com</i>. Plus, you can <a href="mailto:phillies1964@verizon.net">send Matt your questions and comments</a> and watch for a response in future columns. This week, Matt talks about a rough weekend, Ryan Howard's power and answers a reader e-mail.

Well, this past weekend wasn't exactly my best ever. Saturday I allowed three earned runs in one inning against Trenton. Warming up, I just didn't feel like I had my best stuff – especially my fastball. When I got into the game, I was trying to throw too hard to get something on my fastball and needless to say, it didn't work.

Every pitcher is going to have some outings like that and you just have to battle through them. The important thing is to learn from them, which I did. I learned that at times like that, overthrowing isn't the answer, focusing even harder is what you have to do. Our pitching coach, Rod Nichols, worked with me before the game Sunday and we think we fixed a few things. The good news was that I got to come right back on Sunday and pitch another inning. My fastball was a little better and my confidence was higher, but I still walked the first hitter and then gave up a hit in the inning, but no runs. It was the first time in my professional career that I pitched on back-to-back days and it felt good to get right back out there rather than sitting around thinking about the bad outing.

I think once we get going, this is going to be a really good team. One guy who is really coming around is Ryan Howard. Last Sunday (April 18) he hit a monster homerun in a home game against Akron. He actually cleared the huge scoreboard in left-center field. A couple right-handed hitters have done that, but nobody in Reading remembers a left-handed hitter doing that. It didn't really surprise me all that much because I've played with Ryan for three years now and I've seen him do that kind of stuff before. He has serious power, especially to the opposite field. That's what makes him so scary. He hit another homerun this past weekend at Trenton that cleared both fences. He's a lot of fun to watch.

I received an e-mail this week from Ed in Quakertown. Ed wants to know, "Since you're a left-handed pitcher, how much more difficult is it to get right-handed hitters out than left handed hitters."

It's actually not a whole lot tougher, but you do have to approach it differently. Against a left-hander, I have a bit of an advantage because the ball is coming out on the same side of the plate that they're on and they don't get quite as good of a look at it. A right hander gets to see it for just a split second longer and they can pick up the ball a little easier.

In my first season, lefties actually hit a little higher than righties against me. Last year, lefties hit about .200 off of me and righties about .250. Basically, what I try to do against right-handed hitters is establish the inside part of the plate and then get them out with something away.

Thanks for the question, Ed.

Remember, if you have a question or comment for me, you can send me an e-mail and I'll answer it in an upcoming Journal.

That's about it for now. Remember, if you're close to Reading, we would love to see you at a game. And if you can't make it out to a game, be sure to follow the team here on PhillyBaseballNews.com.

Opponent

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

W

L

ERA

SV

April 9 @ Akron

1.2

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0.00

1

April 11 @ Akron

1.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0.00

0

April 15 vs Akron

2.0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0.00

0

April 20 vs Erie

1.1

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0.00

0

April 24 at Trenton

1.0

4

3

3

1

0

0

0

1

27.00

0

April 25 at Trenton

1.0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.00

0

Season Totals

8.0

5

3

3

5

7

0

0

1

3.38

1

 

 


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