Closer Mike Gonzalez sounds encouraged after going over some video with pitching coach Rick Kranitz and conferring with him about the mechanical flaws that, they hope, are causing him to fly off the mound and mishandle leads.
"I definitely saw some things that I couldn't see, obviously, when you're on the mound," Gonzalez said. "I was doing some different things that I hadn't done prior in the years that I've been doing this. It was a big difference and I'm thankful that Kranny was able to check up on me and see how I was throwing last year to the way I was throwing this year. It' s not huge things, but it's enough to have me throwing the ball where it's not supposed to, and that's pretty much what I'm doing right now. I'm not throwing the ball where I need to. Hopefully we'll be working on that today and we'll work on it tomorrow and see how it goes.
"I'm rushing right now when it comes to my follow-through. I'm just trying to do a little too much as opposed to just trusting what I have. I'm trying to get a little more than what I have, as opposed to understanding that what I have is more than enough to get this done."
One thing hasn't changed: Gonzalez wants the ball. And I know that's not a comforting thought for many of you.
"I'll tell you one thing, if you're asking me, of course I want that ball," he said. "I don't want to leave it where I left it yesterday. That's definitely not where I want to be. I want the ball all the time. I wish I could get the ball today, but I understand that I'm not. I want to be out there, of course. I definitely feel I can get the job done, I definitely have confidence in my stuff. I really feel that, after we work on these couple things...it's very slight things, but enough to not put the ball where I want to right now."
Gonzalez said his sessions with Kranitz are more "mental" right now and he doesn't have to actually "do the body thing and go through the motions."
"I'm understanding what I'm doing wrong," he said. "It's just that, on the mound you tend to forget about everything else that's going on. It's not until afterward that you're like, 'Whoa, what was I doing?'"
I hear ya, Mike. I have that revelation all the time.