As I said earlier today, I'm not very happy about that mlb.com article. However, there are some valid points there, like this one:
"There comes a time when you keep getting knocked down to the mat that you have to start fighting back," McDowell said.
So yes, you need a little more confidence. You're tired of hearing that by now, I'm sure. Don't fret over it -- it will come with time, with more run support, with more concentration. You're in an organization with a history of great pitchers. It will happen for you.
I'm not usually big on stats, but let's compare your year so far with two other Braves, future HOFers Smoltzie and Glav. I'm sure they've both told you how bad they sucked their rookie year, but do you really know how badly they sucked?
(Aside to those reading who don't follow complicated statistics: Won-Loss records are more indicative of a team's performance than a pitcher's performance, so we'll look at adjusted ERA (aka ERA+) and WHIP as well. For those of you who aren't familiar with ERA+ and WHIP, you can read up through those links. Basically, an ERA+ of 100 is average; below 100 is "below average". WHIP stands for walks + hits per inning pitched; below 1.0 is going to be superior to others in the league.)
In Smoltz's rookie year, he went 2-7 with an ERA+ of 67 and a 1.672 WHIP.
In Glavine's rookie year, he went 2-4 with an ERA+ of 78 and a 1.748 WHIP. In Tommy's second year, he went 7-17 with an ERA+ of 80 and a 1.352 WHIP.
So far this year, babe, your line looks like this: 3-8 with an ERA+ of 64 and a WHIP of 1.642.
Looks to me like you're in line to be a hall of famer too. :) The readers here and I have full confidence in you, and we know you'll be just fine. It's just first-year jitters.
PS -- If you ever need a hug, I have an ever-growing list of women who will accomodate such a request. ;)