Mike Gonzalez sat at his locker again, waiting for reporters to talk about his latest destructive outing.
It must be getting old - for a lot of people.
“It’s definitely not the way I wanted to start off, but I definitely have the utmost confidence in my ability,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that I can get the job done. I just got off to a bad start and that’s all I can say about that.
“The thing I’m most frustrated about is the way this team’s playing now. We’re hitting the ball well, we’re playing good defense, guys are pitching well. That’s what’s most frustrating. We should have three wins right now and that’s what’s getting under my skin. Not actually my performance. Obviously, it has a lot to do with it, but I know at the end of the day I’m going to get this done. It’s just a rough start for me right now.”
The booing started as soon as Gonzalez threw his first ball.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I really don’t put much thought into that. I go out and get 10 straight, 11 straight, and you’re not hearing the boos anymore. That’s not the problem for me. The problem for me is the way the guys are playing. The guys are playing great baseball. They can hang with anybody in the league right now. They’re getting it done. I just need to go out and do my part.”
Asked to pinpoint what’s going wrong, Gonzalez said, “It’s a couple little things. Obviously, I’m coming into a new league and learning the new hitters. And I’m throwing a lot of balls right now. I’m not throwing a lot of strikes. I think more than anything I’m trying to prove too much. I need to turn this around and I need to do it quick.”
“The process is just going out there and getting it done. It has nothing to do with stuff. My stuff is good enough. I definitely feel that. And my confidence isn’t down whatsoever. I need to throw strikes. You’re putting a guy on, walking the leadoff guy, they know what’s coming. When you’re 2-0, they know what’s coming.”
If the Orioles take a slim lead into the ninth inning tomorrow night, Gonzalez expects to protect it.
“I want that ball,” he said. “I wish it was tomorrow already, 7 p.m. I know I can get this done. I have no doubt in my mind that I can. I started in a rough patch and that’s just how it is. It could be one of those things where I go out there and have these three bad outings and go out there the rest of the year and get it done.
“I know what I’m about and I know what I can do. I’m off to a bad start and I need to turn it around as soon as possible.”