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Sitting down with Tulsa Drillers closer Scott Oberg

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As May winds down, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Tulsa Drillers closer Scott Oberg, who entered June with 11 saves, good enough for second in the Texas League.

Oberg, who has a 0-1 record and 3.38 ERA coming into June, posted 33 saves last season for Class A Modesto.

Henry: How have you found Double A so far?

Oberg: It’s a little bit of a change. The hitters are more disciplined and take a better approach at the plate. They make you work harder than what I saw last year at Modesto.

Henry: What did you learn last year that helped you prepare for Double A?

Oberg: I learned how important it is to throw strikes. This year, guys aren’t swinging at pitches and I’m walking more people than I am used to walking. When you walk guys as a closer, you’re hurting yourself and the team.

Henry: What’s your mentality on the mound?

Oberg: I want to go right after the batter. I know I have guys in the field who are going to do their jobs. Our defense has been outstanding this year. I want to throw hard, throw strikes, and be aggressive. It’s fun to sit back and watch our defense do their jobs.

Henry: What’s going through your mind in the bullpen as you’re getting ready to enter the game?

Oberg: I always get some butterflies. When I come in the game, I know I’m going to be the last guy on the mound. I have a duty to my team to come in and get my job done. They’ve been fighting so hard and I want to do my job and finish the game. I don’t consider that pressure. If you take things one pitch at a time and trust the guys behind you, good things will happen.

Henry: When did you know you were going to be a closer?

Oberg: I was a closer my last year at Connecticut and the Rockies drafted me as a reliever. At Grand Junction, I was splitting time with another guy as the closer but I ended up being the closer at the end of the season. I didn’t know at Modesto until I was put in the situation. You never really know until the manager comes to you and says you’re the guy.

Henry: Was it an adjustment for you to become a closer?

Oberg: Yes and no. I pitched in almost every situation out of the bullpen at UConn. Whatever situation I was in and still am in, I just want to throw strikes and let the defense work for me.

Henry: What’s your go-to pitch?

Oberg: Definitely my fastball. When I can put it where I want, I know it’s going to be a quick night.

Henry: What are your goals for the rest of the season and beyond?

Oberg: I just want to help this team when as much as I can right now. We have a goal of winning the Texas League championship and I want to help that happen. I don’t want to get caught looking ahead and miss something in the present.

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