Friday, August 14, 2009

PhoulBallz Q&A with Scott Mathieson

Former Major League Phillie Scott Mathieson is still on the road back, following two arm surgeries. Currently pitching with the double A Reading Phillies, Mathieson needed Tommy John Surgery twice, after appearing in 9 games with the big league team in 2006. This year, Mathieson has a combined 0.86 ERA at 3 minor league levels in 15 games. I had a chance to speak with Scott this week. Here is a look at how that went...


Can I get your thoughts on your rehab thus far, this year, and the long process?

It was real frustrating up until lately, when I've been pitching. It's a nice relief to be out there pitching. Giving up runs is-- to think about it now, it's nice that I'm not even thinking about my arm anymore. It's all about pitching and about baseball, not rehabbing. I feel like I'm almost over rehab now. The next stage is just pitch back-to-back (days). Just trying to put (rehab) in the past and worry about pitching.



What was the biggest thing you learned from your time rehabbing and all the set backs?

Patience. Definitely patience. And just mental toughness, I'm sure. Ya know, learning the game and going out there- I throw a change up now, where before my change up was pretty awful. Now, I consider it one of my better pitches. And I think just patience and sitting back and watching and trying to really learn baseball and learn how to pitch, not just go out there and throw hard. I think that's the biggest thing I took out of it.


Do you think the Phillies could call you up in September, and if not, do you have an expected time frame for your return to the majors?

I don't know. I mean, really, I'm not thinking that. I'm just thinking about pitching today and pitching tomorrow. I hope I get a chance in September, but if I don't, I'm not expecting it. It'd be nice obviously, but...



Mike Zagurski spoke to me once about watching game 5 of the World Series with you last year, while you guys were partnered up doing rehab work. What was that experience like for you, watching the team do it all?

Mike and his fiance, and my wife and I all went up to all the World Series games, in Tampa as well, and game 5. It was great to see, but it was almost one of those bitter-sweet things too. It was a blast to see them win and all your buddies are on the team. There's a lot of good guys on that team. But, in the same sense, I know Mike and I talked and it made us want to get back even more. And it made you more hungry to get back there. It was frustrating that we couldn't be on the field, but hopefully, down the road, we'll be part of a World Series team again.



What was your first call up like?

To me it was a shock. Actually, we (Reading) played at Citizens Bank the day before I got called up, and we had a bus ride from there to Erie. And then the next morning I got called up and took a flight back to Philly. It was one of those things where, I got back from the gym and I had a couple missed calls and I called coach back, at the time, and PJ was off, so it was Tom Filer who told me. Ya know, I thought I was in trouble, I thought I missed a meeting or something. I really wasn't expecting it and when he told me, it was kind of surreal. I remember sitting on the bed thinking, "Oh, shoot- I gotta pack, I got a half hour to leave." And was just flustered, and tried to call my dad. But it was 5 in the morning back at home (BC, Canada). Trying to get a hold of him...was just one of those moments I'll never forget. And then getting up there, that first game up there, I remember I bounced the first pitch and stepped off and I couldn't care less. Just thought, "No one can ever take this away." It was a great experience.



Who was the most memorable batter you faced in the majors?

Probably Ken Griffey Jr. I grew up, I was a huge fan. And grew up an hour and a half from Seattle, so back yard- swinging with a broom stick out there, pretending you're Ken Griffey Jr., then to get up there and see him across the way was pretty surreal. That was pretty cool.



Who was your favorite pitcher growing up?

Randy Johnson. Seattle again as well. Either him or John Smoltz.



What advice might you give teen aged players hoping to play beyond high school?

Make sure you enjoy it. Have fun and go out there every day and not have regrets. Work as hard as you can.



What's your favorite baseball movie?

Bull Durham. Sometimes it feels like it's me out there. I mean, it did before. It's always been one of my favorites.


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