questions and comments for Matt to answer in an upcoming journal entry."> questions and comments for Matt to answer in an upcoming journal entry.">

From the Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Each week, Reading Phillies reliever Matt Squires brings readers a look inside the life of a AA pitcher. This week, Matt addresses the recent R-Phils slump and how things can turn around for them this week. Plus, readers can send their <a href="mailto:phillies1964@att.net">questions and comments</a> for Matt to answer in an upcoming journal entry.

This has been a tough week for our team. We've gone 1-6, including getting swept in a double-header. Thursday night, we had a dramatic 3-2 win over New Hampshire when Kurt Keene singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After the game, we all thought that was going to be the turning point that would get us going. Unfortunately, New Hampshire came back and won the last three games of the series and two of those games were by fairly sizeable margins.

This is one of those times when everybody on the team seems to be slumping or just plain unlucky. All we can do is keep battling, because we know this is a good team. There is a lot of talent on this roster and there is definitely no lack of effort on anybody's part. In addition to the talent, there are a lot of guys here who are just good guys and it would be great to win with this group of players.

Our upcoming series with Harrisburg is a pretty big one for us. We're tied with Harrsiburg for last in the division and they're coming to Reading for three games. If either team can sweep this series, it will be a big push for them. Of course, if either team gets swept, it will really hurt their chances. Technically, it is still pretty early in the season, but you can only say that for so long. This is a great time for us to snap out of this funk we're all in and start to show what we can do.

My Mom and Dad are in town and unfortunately, they haven't gotten to see us win. I got somewhat of an extended outing on Saturday night when I pitched two and two-thirds innings. It was nice because Mom and Dad got to see it, but they weren't the main reason for the extra time on the mound. First, our starter Eddie Candelario had one of those nights where it just wasn't coming together for him and he lasted three innings, so we needed some innings out of the bullpen. Also, the Phillies minor league pitching coordinator was in town and he wanted to see me pitch. They were hoping to get me into the game Friday night, but when that didn't happen, I got moved to the top of the list for Saturday night's game.

With the way things have been going lately, it's not surprising that with my parents there, the minor league pitching coordinator there and my team needing some innings out of me, my outing started with a bases clearing double. I got an out before I gave up another hit that scored a run. Not how I had hoped for things to go. On the bright side, I settled down and pitched okay, but not as well as I would have hoped. We mounted a rally in the bottom of the fourth and added two runs in the fifth to make it 6-5 and we thought we might be coming back. Unfortunately, it ended there and we lost 7-5.

Actually, there are four or five players who have family in town right now. Parents, wives, girlfriends, it seems like there are a lot of families that picked this time of the year to visit. Maybe part of it was Mother's Day, but I think a lot of it is just that families start to miss the players now after some time away and we are on a nice, long homestand that also featured a day off right in the middle. Our day off was spent in Gettysburg.

It really has been great having Mom and Dad in town. We have spent time together before and after games and have found stuff to do together. We went out to dinner, which provided me with a lot of leftovers, which is always good. Sunday night, we watched The Last Samurai on video and enjoyed it a lot.

After our day off, we start this big series with Harrisburg, so it's right back into the fire.

Remember, if you have any questions or comments for me, you can pass them along and I'll address them in an upcoming journal.

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