Looks Like the Old Oswalt
It’s just one start, but it felt last night like the Phillies were getting the band back together:
The Four Aces.
Roy Oswalt dominated in a 5-0 victory over the Nationals. His fastball touched 94 mph in the early innings and it averaged 92.2 mph for the night. That’s quite an improvement, considering his fastball averaged 90.9 mph from the time he hit the DL for the first time this season in early May and landed on it a second time in late June.
“He’s back,” Cole Hamels said. “I think that’s pretty much it. He’s back. When he has the velocity you know it’s game time.”
“The way he threw the ball,” Jimmy Rollins said, “vintage Roy. He had that little fastball that he shoots from his chest and by the time the batter swings it’s shoulder height. I was excited, man. His velocity was super. I was looking up and he was hitting 93 still late in the game. I was like, ‘Wow. And he was letting it go.’ You could tell he was confident in his back and in his arm.”
“His fastball had more life,” Carlos Ruiz said. “You could see a lot of swings and misses. The ball was moving (up). That was him, you know? He hit 93, 94. It’s good. You can see he was healthy. That’s the best start. He likes to compete, but when you’re hurt it’s hard. You could see it. He’s quiet, but you could see it in his face and body language. Something was wrong. He didn’t feel OK. Now I know he’s healthy.” <p>
If Oswalt is feeling like himself again – he had 15 swings and misses, 10 of them on fastballs – that is good news for the rotation and this team’s chances in October. Think about it. While most playoff teams will be debating whether or not to pitch their ace on short rest, the Phillies could have four well-rested aces pitching on regular or extra rest.
It would be a nice problem to have.