and we'll pass them along. This week, it's an off day filled with golf and the classic minor league bus trip."> and we'll pass them along. This week, it's an off day filled with golf and the classic minor league bus trip.">

From the Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Reading Phillies reliever Matt Squires has agreed to keep Phillies fans updated on what's happening with him and the AA Reading Phillies throughout the season. Every week, Matt brings readers news from behind the scenes. Readers can also send Matt their questions at <a href=""></a> and we'll pass them along. This week, it's an off day filled with golf and the classic minor league bus trip.

I'm sure you've heard the stories about the long bus rides in the minor leagues. We just finished a ride from Reading to Erie that is the kind of trip those stories talk about. The good news is that we were off Monday and the team gave us the full day off. The bad news is that meant we had a late arrival in Erie. We got to the hotel around 2:30 in the morning.

Since we had Monday off, I was able to hit the golf course. Keith Bucktrot and I played about a round and a half of golf. I'm happy to report that I beat him by one stroke. Of course, I'll be telling everybody that I beat him much worse than that. Buck and I have gone golfing together a few times this season. We always have a good time and the weather Monday was good. It did get kind of hot later in the day, but it was well worth it. Another teammate, Jeff Phelps, is probably the guy that I hang around with most. We've become pretty good friends after being roommates on the road last season and this season. I'm not the kind to go out a lot, but Jeff and I get together to play video games and just relax when we can. Jeff isn't a golfer, but there are a few others on the team that do golf.

Physically, I am feeling really good. My shoulder is getting much stronger and I've been pitching better. I didn't realize it, but looking back, I haven't given up an earned run since I came off the DL. I have allowed a couple unearned runs and in all honesty, one of those situations probably saved me from having an earned run or two. The error came with runners on second and third with nobody out, so the runs wound up being unearned. Those things happen.

A lot of what goes into pitching is confidence. My confidence right now is back where it needs to be. Right now, I feel like I can get anybody out and I've been going right at hitters. Sometimes, you can worry too much about what pitch you're throwing or how hard you're throwing. I'm at my best when I don't worry too much about those things. The last time I checked, my fastball was in the high 80s. I've probably pushed that a little higher, but haven't been watching. It's all about going right at hitters, which has been easier since my slider has been working well. That's my out pitch and I've been able to notch some strikeouts with it.

That's all that's going on right now. Hopefully, we'll turn things around a little bit and start winning some games. I still think that this team is better than we've shown so far. There have been a lot of player moves and sometimes that throws you off a little, but I think we'll be okay when all is said and done. Have a great week and look for more news from me next week.

You can send any questions or comments for Matt Squires to and we will be sure to pass them along. Matt will try to answer any questions in an upcoming journal entry.

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