Oswalt’s Struggles

Roy Oswalt looked like a new man when the Phillies acquired him last July. He left a team headed nowhere for a team headed to the postseason. He went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 13 appearances to finish the regular season and 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in the postseason.

He went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his first four starts this season, but has not been the same since leaving the team in late April to attend to family matters in Mississippi and landing on the disabled list with inflammation in his back. He is 1-5 with a 4.17 ERA in his last eight starts. He is not throwing as hard as earlier in the season. He has fewer strikeouts.

“I think about that sometimes,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think his fastball, I think you’ll see him come out pretty soon and his fastball will be back where it was. I think there comes a time when the fastball – not all of it is there. It’s just kind of how your arm feels and how you’re throwing it at the time, kind of like a hitter not hitting. I think it’s just a matter of time before you see his fastball jump up. There’s nothing wrong with the way he’s throwing. I think that’s going to come.”

Oswalt actually has a 3.40 ERA since returning from the DL. He has pitched well enough to win more than a few of those starts, but has had almost no help from the offense. From May 17 through last night, Oswalt ranks 113th out of 123 qualifying pitchers in baseball averaging just 1.91 runs of support per nine innings. His counterparts in the rotation have had a much better time in that same span: Cole Hamels ranks 31st (5.73), Roy Halladay ranks 40th (5.23) and Cliff Lee ranks 41st (5.16). But Oswalt also ranks 102nd in baseball, averaging 13.82 base runners per nine innings. To put that into perspective, he finished second in baseball last season, averaging just 9.44 base runners per nine innings. (Only Lee was better at 9.07.)

It’s tough to say how Oswalt is feeling these days. He’s pretty mild mannered.

Is he having as much fun as last year?

“Yeah,” he said flatly.

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20 Comments

with all said, can anyone name a better number 4 pitcher in all of baseball? DIdn’t think so

So you are saying he is the best of a bad lot in connection with #4 pitchers?

I thought Oswalt was the #3 and Hamels was the #4? Or are we going by record now?

One that comes to mind is Kyle Lohse, who is 7-3 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.

While an outstanding career pitcher, Oswalt is prone to putting people on base, giving up a lot of hits – career avg. of 8.6 a game vs. 2011 avg. of 9.3 – and walking another 2.1 v. 2.3. His 2011 ERA is only 0.19 above his career average 0f 3.19, so those extra base runners aren’t getting in. What he did in the second half of last season was remarkable, but uncharacteristic. What were seeing now is more “normal” for him. Unless he’s covering up an injury, given time he’ll regress (progress??) toward his mean.

I believe Oswalt is walking at the end of this season no matter what the outcome. And considering he can make $16 million under his contract next season , I think it is a good thing for the Phillies as well that he walk.

I agree with Charlie that Oswalt will get his act together at some point. I also agree with pherris that he will hang ‘em up at the end of this season.

Lil’ Roy is just fine! He has done A LOT for the team, and I believe he will continue to do so! Thank you Roy Oswalt……..for being an awesome pitcher! Plus, he’s the only guy on the team that talks the way he does……he kind of speaks like the guy in Sling Blade! Stay in Philly Roy!

I don’t get it – such a great series and then the fans burn the cars.

What a black mark on the final.

Excuse me. Are you lost?

Another Whack-A-Ball series comes to a painful end. At the very least, what should be done is alternating the DH and non-DH games by season rather than home ballpark. It is obvious that it is to the advantage of the Whack-A-Ball League (a/k/a American League) to sit their DH and have the pitcher hit than it is for the Real Baseball League (a/k/a National League) to insert a role player in the DH spot. And these assholes from the Whack-A-Ball League want to crow about their superiority when they do not even know what baseball is all about. Sadly, however, with all of this talk of realignment into two 15 team leagues it is beyond comprehension as to how two different sets of rules about one game will be able to coexist. From the owners perspective getting rid of the DH would save a ton of money. From the players perspective at least 14 higher paying jobs would be lost. What does not portend well for the prospect of getting rid of the DH and getting back to real baseball is all of this chatter about how offense is down. DH, the Bud Selig answer to PEDs.

The talk of realignment and two 15-team leagues would be a backdoor way of getting the DH into baseball. Having odd-numbered teams in each league would mean that one AL team would be playing one NL team every week. That would mean that they would have to bring the DH into the rules for both leagues.
Even though I was against it at the beginning, it’s obvious that we aren’t going back. So, let’s just re-align and have both leagues play by the same rules. The current way is ridiculous on many levels.

I agree with the same rule aspect but if I where king there would not be a DH. And I am so tired of players going DH and padding their stats. I remember when there was debate as to whether Jim Thome would make the HOF. After several years of DHing can there now be any doubt? On the other hand the consummate DH, Edgar Martinez is reviled because he was “only a DH”. I offer the example of Martinez only to show the contradiction and not the merits of his induction or non-induction. In a sense even the baseball establishment still has a problem with the DH.

muleman, I doubt the NL will ever vote to implement the DH. If anything, it will go the other way, but I think they’ll keep the status quo, led primarily by the Players Association’s effort to keep jobs.
To qoute Crash Davis:
“I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter.”

On the contrary, phan. The Players’ Association is behind the realignment. I suggest you do some reading on the subject.
Crash Davis is a fictional character.

Reading comprehension helps in any discussion on a message board, muleman. I wasn’t talking about re-alignment, I was talking about the DH.
And thanks for the heads up about Crash Davis. Who would have known?

pherris: Fortunately, neither you nor I are King. Who cares about the Hall of Fame? The Hall of Fame isn’t part of MLB and should be regarded as such. The fact is that re-alignment and instution of a universal DH would create jobs, not reduce them.
I don’t like it either, but it has nothing to do with what the NL will do. It has more to do with the Players’ Association, because they are really running the game.
I don’t like adding playoff teams. Eventually, it will test our (the fans) committment to the game. Adding playoff teams further dilutes the schedule, but enhances revenue. We all know where the league falls on that debate. Revenue.

phan52, great quote from a baseball icon. I am not sure there are enough “Old Guard” NL” owners left to hold back the hands of time.

wonders which AL pitcher will end up on DL this year because he strains a muscle when he actually has to run 90 feet to a base. The DH is a joke

Todd, where are you? You haven’t thrown any meat into the pit for several days. You are a sports writer, for Pete’s sake, it is not like you have a real job.

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