DIGGING DOUG

     After a slow start to the 2012 season, starter Doug Mathis has hit his stride.  The 29 year old right hander is 5-3 for the PawSox after his tremendous outing in Buffalo on Thursday.  The former Texas Rangers pitcher handcuffed the Bisons for 6 innings, scattering three hits en route to a 5-0 victory.Making his twelfth appearance in a PawSox uniform, Mathis scattered three hits, walked one and struck out three.  He obviously felt pleased after his latest start.  “It was a good game to get through.  I actually didn’t feel too good early in the game.  In the bullpen, warming up for the game was terrible.  In the first couple of innings I got lucky.  I had some line drives hit right at some guys.  After that, I found a little groove and I felt pretty good.”

     Mathis got the win while highly touted Mets prospect, Matt Harvey took the loss.  Harvey is also 5-3, with two of the losses coming at the hands of the PawSox.  “He was throwing the ball great.  He was throwing the ball better than I was at the start of the game.  We ended up getting to him in the sixth, with two outs.  I was very impressed with him.  Even though he ended up with the loss, it was one of the better-pitched games I’ve seen all year in this league.”

     Mathis struggled out of the blocks in April.  He is a veteran and talked about the psychology of not letting it get to him and snowball.  “Obviously, you want to get off to a fast start, but you realize as you get older, it isn’t always how you start, it’s how you finish.  I would rather be a guy that finishes strong than start strong and fade down the stretch.  The first couple of weeks, I was terrible.  I’ve been working hard, working with Rich (Sauveur).  It’s all you can do to try to get back into it.”

     With the exception of Alex Wilson and Junichi Tazawa, this is a veteran pitching staff.  Mathis says that working with guys like Justin Germano and Brandon Duckworth is a pleasure.  “It helps because a lot of us are similar pitchers.  Myself, Duck and Germano, we’re not overpowering by any means.  We do similar things out there.  We feed off each other and talk about various things.  When guys are throwing well, you want to go out there and continue it.  Even though you’re on the same team, you want to be competitive with your teammates.”  Mathis doesn’t confine his praise to just the starting rotation.  He likes the Pawtucket bullpen and thought that Mark Melancon set a great example for his younger teammates when he was optioned to the PawSox.  “Mark was great when he came down here.  Great attitude.  He obviously pitched well while he was hee.  He was one of the more dominant relievers in the league.  He embraced his situation.  He didn’t feel sorry for himself.  That fed off onto others, as well.  Garrett Mock is throwing well.  Alex Wilson has been good.  I think that pretty much everybody is doing the job.  That’s the reason that we’ve been doing so well.  Without a bullpen like ours, we wouldn’t be doing so well.  Our starters wouldn’t have as many wins.  Having a strong staff and a strong bullpen goes hand in hand.”     

     Thanks to Doug Mathis, the PawSox are strong and deep on the mound.

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