Interesting article in the Fresno Bee from yesterday as Bryant-Jon Anteola discusses Brett Oberholtzer's mindset in his latest stint in Fresno after the almost-beaning of Alex Rodriguez.
Fresno pitching coach Ace Adams, on Oberholtzer:
He's been in the dumps, he got sent back here; what he needs is encouragement. I owe it to him to try to bring his confidence back out to him and really work on his mindset. I just want him to feel that he still belongs up there. That it's just a temporary setback. And just for him to continue to work on his pitches.
In his first start since getting sent to Fresno, Oberholtzer allowed three runs in the 1st inning and then allowed three hits and no runs in innings 2-6. Oberholtzer:
It was a little tough to get the mindset of pitching again. But once I got hit around a little bit, I realized I better buckle down and finish the game strong.
Oberholtzer, who just turned 26 last week, has a 4.32 ERA for Houston in seven starts, but has dealt with a blister on his pitching hand for most of the season. Prior to the 1.1IP/6ER meltdown against the Yankees, Obie had allowed just 32H/10ER with 23K:13BB in 32IP - a 2.81 ERA...pretty good for an SP4/5. Yeah, the walks need to come down, but he had gone at least 6IP in two of his previous three starts, including an 8IP, 3H/0ER performance against the Mariners on June 12. Then the Yankees happened and with it a grand slam to Brian McCann.
Oberholtzer appeared to throw at Alex Rodriguez. He said he didn't. Castro said he didn't. But he was immediately ejected, calmly walked off the field, and then threw his glove against the wall of the dugout. And then he got demoted. What for: the poor 1st inning against the Yankees? Throwing at A-Rod? Throwing his glove? To hear Ace Adams (we need more people named "Ace" in this world) tell it, Oberholtzer needs to get his mind right. Perhaps the demotion was a wake-up call as well as a punishment for all of the above.