Why are the O's struggling in close games?
NEW YORK – Miguel Gonzalez simply loves pitching at Yankee Stadium.
In five career starts, Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA. He gets his sixth one on Friday night.
“I like the mound. I feel comfortable there. The fans just get me going even though it’s Yankee Stadium. I just go out there and try and do my best and be myself,” Gonzalez said. “That’s helped me out throughout my career, and especially at Yankee Stadium.
Manager Buck Showalter often juggles his rotation to make sure that Gonzalez gets to pitch against the Yankees. The right-hander feels that certain pitchers do match up better with some teams.
“I believe that. There are guys that pitch good against certain teams. Buck is all about that. He likes doing that stuff,” Gonzalez said. “I’m happy about what he’s doing.”
Showalter says there’s nothing special about Gonzalez’s success against the Yankees.
“He’s just pitched well. It’s some that he’s had a command of his fastball and offspeed pitch. Pitchers and players are creatures of memory, somewhat,” Showalter said.
Showalter said his team was trying to concentrate this season on doing better against two New York pitchers they hadn’t much fortune against in the past, Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia.
It will be Gonzalez’s first start since Aug. 20. He pitched on Sunday and Tuesday in relief.
“There are guys that don’t like resting. Buck knows I’m flexible on that. I can go in the pen and get my work in there and also start. He’s probably happy about having me on the team and being flexible, too,” Gonzalez said.
He threw an inning in relief on Sunday and faced two batters on Tuesday.
“The adrenaline gets to you real quick,” Gonzalez said. “It’s fun. Instead of throwing your bullpen and facing hitters, it’s going to help you a little better.”