From the Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Reading Phillies relief pitcher Matt Squires gives readers a look at what's going on with his career and his life outside of baseball each week, with his on-line journal. This week, Matt talks about Reading's win streak and has some news from the golf course.

Man, right now, it just seems like we have everything going our way. We've won eight in a row and just have the feeling that we're going to win every time we take the field. Not that we don't always think that we can win, but right now, we just have that extra little bit of confidence that it takes to win.

Our win Monday night was a classic. We went into the bottom of the ninth down 6-3. We weren't able to do much against Harrisburg's starter, Michael Hinckley. Hinckley is a real good prospect in the Montreal system and he threw seven strong innings against us. My buddy Jeff Phelps started the ninth by drawing a walk. I think a bunch of us already knew when he trotted down the first base line that we were going to win. Eventually, we had runners on first and second with two outs, but we still knew we were going to win. Kevin Barker drew another walk and then Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Brian Hitchcox all singled and we went home with a 7-6 win. That kind of game really pumps you up.

Monday night was also special because Randy Wolf was in town for a rehab start. Wolfie threw four really good innings. I got to talk with him a little and he told me he really felt good. His elbow should be fine, which is good news for the Phillies.

Physically, I'm doing great. I gave up a run Tuesday night in my one inning of work, which I never like, but I still thought that I threw pretty well. I had warmed up and was ready to come into the game and our offense started another rally and scored five runs. I had sat in the bullpen for a little longer than I would normally have liked to after I got warm and wasn't as sharp as I should have been when I started the inning. Luckily, we had a pretty good lead and the run I gave up wasn't crucial. Still, you always hate to give up a run, no matter what the situation.

We played some more golf on Tuesday. We got caught in a little rain during our round, but it wasn't any big problem. Gavin Floyd hit a real nice chip shot from about forty yards out. We had taken a video camera with us and were lucky enough to catch that one on tape. It was worth watching again. I had a pretty good round, too. Gavin's shot was the shot of the day though. We had a really good time and got to relax a little. Of course, when you're winning, it's easier to relax.

Basically, things are going really well for us right now. We're winning and I think we've sent a message to the rest of the teams that we're not out of this thing. We're still 8 1/2 out in the Southern Division, but we've passed Akron and have our sites set on Bowie for third place. There's certainly enough time to make up the ground that we need to make up. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure. Altoona is leading the division and we have a big three-game series with them in Reading starting next Monday. We also play them in Altoona right after the all-star break, in a four-game series. We can't wait for those games. If we keep playing the way we've played the last eight games, we can beat anybody. We have no doubts about that.

If you have any questions or comments for me, you can always drop me an e-mail and I'll respond to you in my next journal entry. Have a great week and I hope to see you out at the ballpark!

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