From the Bullpen: Matt Squires On-Line Journal

The Reading Phillies have been struggling lately and the fact that they're spending a lot of time on the road doesn't help. In his latest journal entry, reliever Matt Squires talks about the tough times. Plus, the Phillies look for reasons for the drop in Matt's velocity.

Well, we haven't been having too much fun here in Reading lately. We're in one of those stretches where everything seems to go wrong. I had an outing the other night where my numbers looked horrible, but I really didn't throw too badly. There was a broken bat single, a little bloop hit and just one of those nights where everything they got any part of the bat on somehow fell in. The only ball that was hit well was the homerun that I gave up.

Ryan Howard broke Greg Luzinski's homerun record and now, he's chasing the Eastern League record. John Castellano is a guy who would probably be getting more attention for what he's doing if it weren't for the numbers that Howard is putting up. Castellano was an Eastern League all-star and definitely deserved it.

Pitching has been up and down. Elizardo Ramirez struggled with his control the other night and Keith Bucktrot is still working his way back to being 100% after he was on the DL for a little while.

It seems like all season, I've had some problems getting my velocity up. I had some shoulder problems earlier in the year that landed me on the DL for a little while and overall, I'm pitching pretty well, but the velocity hasn't returned. My shoulder just doesn't seem to loosen completely, but there isn't any pain or swelling. As a precaution, they sent me to Philadelphia the other day for an MRI. Dr. Ciccotti didn't think there was any structural problems when he examined me, but the MRI will tell for sure. Like I said, I feel great, but we're just trying to figure out why my velocity has been down.

The trade rumors keep flying around. I had mentioned before that we hear them, but none of us really know for sure what's going to happen. We see the same stuff in the papers and on the internet, but don't really get much more than that. Ryan is the guy everyone is focusing on. It's been a lot of added pressure on him because of the rumors and the homerun records, but he's handling it great. It's got to be kind of tough for him, but he seems to be the same guy that he's been all season.

Not much else really going on. We're looking forward to getting back home. We wrap up a seven game road trip tonight and have played ten of the last fourteen games on the road. One of those games at home was rained out, too. It's been a tough trip and that's made the losing that much tougher. Of course, we only come home for three games this weekend and then go right back out for a ten game road trip. That's going to mean that 20 out of 27 games will have been on the road. That's a stretch that none of us were looking forward to and it hasn't turned out well, either.

Have a good week and stop out at the ballpark if you're in the neighborhood this weekend. Remember too, that you can send me an e-mail and I'll answer it in an upcoming journal.

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