This week, I caught up with Orioles reliever T.J. McFarland, who has been having success out of the bullpen as of late. We talked about what he has been doing well, his current stint with the team, the Orioles’ most recent road trip, and playing these games against AL East division rivals.
Q: You’ve done extremely well in June. Do you feel like you’ve been getting into a groove lately?
T.J. MCFARLAND: Yeah, obviously I’m getting outs and whatever I’m doing right now, I’ve changed a little bit, I’m just going to stick with it.
Q: What do you feel like you’ve been doing well out on the mound during this stretch?
TM: Well when any pitcher’s having success they’re pitching good because they’re making pitches. Just like me, I’m making pitches, getting groundballs, defense is behind me.
Q: You’ve worked as both a starter and reliever this year and been shuffled between Baltimore and Norfolk several times. Has it been nice to get back up here and stay for a little bit longer this time, and be in the same role?
TM: I guess so. At this level, I’ve always been a reliever though. When I was in the minor leagues I worked as a starter, I was able to work on pitches. Now I’m here in the pen. Wherever I’m needed I’ll be able to go out there and get outs.
Q: Entering the series against Tampa Bay, the team had won three series in a row. How important is that to do, especially as it gets later into the season?
TM: It’s huge. If you win series throughout the year, you’re obviously going to have a good record. So that’s what we’re trying to do every series. And every day we come in here, all the guys come in here and try to win. That’s our goal. And then if we don’t, we either try to win the series or we come back the next day and start a new series. That’s really what it is, one game at a time, one series at a time.
Q: How big was the road trip last week and taking two out of three from two division rivals in the Rays and Yankees?
TM: Yeah, big road trip going there and doing what we did. But we came back here with the same mindset, same momentum.
Q: The division has been really close so far this year at the top with you guys right in the mix. Is it more important to win games against those teams?
TM: In-division games are always big. I think every year it’s always close. To win a series against Toronto, Tampa, Boston, or New York, it’s big, it’s huge. Not to say that any other series isn’t as important but when you get those win’s against your division, it’s big.