As far as whether Chris Volstad fixed what was broken during his six-week stretch in the minors, ``I guess we'll see,'' he said.
``But as far as where I'm at and how I feel, yeah, I feel totally different,'' he said. ``It probably won't look that way to people watching, but from the inside for sure.''
Confidence. Perspective. Patience. Maybe even a few therapy mind tricks.
Volstad takes them to the mound against the Atlanta Braves tonight when he starts for the Cubs for the first time since May 17 - when he lost yet again as his winless streak reached 19 starts dating to last year about this time.
``It was definitely necessary,'' he said of the trip to the minors after going 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA in eight starts for the Cubs - all Cub losses. ``I'll be the first one to admit that or say that. I just needed to work on a few things, and get right. And put myself in position to get back up here as soon as possible.''
Admittedly, a streak like he's in wears on a player. For Volstad, it's about starting fresh tonight, and trying to keep up a team run by the starters that has the Cubs on a 6-for-7 roll.
Cubs starters are 5-0 with a 1.41 ERA in the six wins during that stretch.
``You look at the way things were going while I was here, and stuff was working well for most of the game,'' he said. ``Just certain situations I'd get myself into and maybe not know how to get myself out, or how to react or how to even handle it really.''
The key? ``Not trying to be perfect in those situations or putting too much pressure or stress on myself,'' he said. ``And enjoying those situations really and just continuing making pitches the way you had been before that. That was what needed to happen.''
Volstad was 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA in eight starts for AAA Iowa.
``I'm looking forward to [tonight] for sure, no matter what,'' he said. ``I know me, personally, on and off the field as a player, it's different. ... I'm excited for it.''