Results tagged ‘ Roy Oswalt ’

Nothing But Zeroes in San Diego

The Phillies shut out the Padres for the second consecutive game with a 2-0 victory last night at PETCO Park. It is the Phillies’ fifth shutout of the season.

The Phillies threw back-to-back shutouts twice last season:

  • July 10-11 (vs. Cincinnati)
  • July 22-23 (at St. Louis and vs. Colorado)

According to Baseball Reference, the Phillies have thrown back-to-back shutouts 34 times from 1919-2011. They have thrown three consecutive shutouts three times and four consecutive shutouts twice. If the Phillies shut out the Padres tonight — the Padres have been shutout six times in 20 games this season, so it’s possible — it would be the first time they have done that since throwing four consecutive shutouts Aug. 13-16, 1969, when Jerry Johnson and Woodie Fryman both shutout the Braves in Atlanta and Grant Jackson and Rick Wise both shutout the Astros in Philadelphia.

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Cole Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.23 ERA in five starts at PETCO Park, which gives him the lowest ERA of any pitcher with five starts at PETCO. Hamels actually passed Roy Oswalt, who has a 1.69 ERA at PETCO.

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Oswalt Gets Creative, Makes Up Pitch

Roy Oswalt found himself in a ridiculously long at-bat against Jorge Cantu in the fourth inning last night at PETCO Park.

How long was it?

So long that Oswalt threw a new pitch to get himself out of it. Here’s how the at-bat went:

  1. 90, sinker, called strike
  2. 81, changeup, swinging strike
  3. 80, changeup, ball
  4. 91, sinker, foul
  5. 66, curveball, foul
  6. 80, changeup, foul
  7. 92, sinker, foul
  8. 81, changeup, foul
  9. 92, sinker, foul
  10. 93, sinker, foul
  11. 79, changeup, foul
  12. 61, curveball, ball
  13. 93, sinker, foul
  14. 80, slider, swinging strike

“I usually throw a slider one way and I threw it a different way,” said Oswalt, showing his normal grip and the grip he used in the final pitch to Cantu. “I spiked it.”

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Charlie Manuel said Ryan Madson couldn’t pitch last night because of “soreness.” Madson said he just got a day off after pitching four times in six days. (He was not happy having to answer questions about the “soreness” after the game.) Manuel said Madson likely would be available tonight. The Phillies certainly hope so. It seems the Phillies can stomach losing Chase Utley more than they can lose Madson or Jose Contreras right now. … Oswalt said he had no back issues last night, although Manuel said his velocity was a tick below normal. Worth watching.

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Oswalt Says He’s Good to Go

Roy Oswalt threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon, and said he felt fine.

Oswalt left Friday’s game against Florida because of a strained lower back. He said his back is good, and he expects to start Thursday in San Diego. Rich Dubee said the same thing, although he said they need to see how Oswalt’s back responds tomorrow.

The short of it: If Oswalt wakes up fine tomorrow he’s pitching Thursday. If he wakes up with a sore back he won’t. But the feeling is he will pitch.

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No Surprise: Rotation Remains In Order

The Phillies postponed last night’s game because of rain. It turned out to be a good decision, considering I couldn’t see outside my windows because of the storm. But within seconds of the announcement I got a ton of questions from folks wondering if the Phillies planned to skip Joe Blanton in the rotation.

My first reaction: Why would they do that?

First, the obvious. Roy Oswalt had to leave Friday’s game because of a strained lower back. How much sense would it make to skip Blanton not knowing if Oswalt will pitch Wednesday? It very clearly makes more sense to keep everybody in order, which gives the Phillies an extra day to make a decision on Oswalt (and Oswalt an extra day to rest his back).

Second, Blanton has struggled in just two starts. Two. They need him to make 30-plus starts this season, so it makes absolutely no sense to skip him in April. Plus, what message does that send Blanton? Uh, Joe, we know it’s April and we know it’s just two starts, but we’re skipping you to keep Roy Halladay on his normal day. I know fans with tickets to Monday wanted to see Halladay pitch, but the Phillies are looking at the big picture. Keeping everybody in order in April might keep everybody a little fresher come October.

So the Phillies’ rotation looks like this:

  • Today vs. Marlins: Cole Hamels
  • Monday vs. Brewers: Joe Blanton
  • Tuesday vs. Brewers: Roy Halladay
  • Wednesday vs. Brewers: Cliff Lee
  • Thursday at San Diego: Roy Oswalt

Like postponing last night’s game, they made the right (and only) call.

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Oswalt’s Back Is Back

Roy Oswalt left tonight’s game before the top of the seventh inning because of a strained lower back.

Uh oh.

Oswalt has had back issues before. He left two starts in 2009 because of back injuries: July 28 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field and Sept. 5 against the Phillies at Minute Maid Park. He went on the disabled list Sept. 16, 2009, with a strained lower back and missed the last couple weeks of the season.

He also spent time on the DL in 2008 and 2006 because back and hip problems.

(Oswalt said tonight those hip problems were back problems.)

But Oswalt insisted this injury is different. He said he suffered back spasms in the middle of his back.

“This is nothing like that,” he said of his previous back injuries. “This is middle back. It’s not really lower back. Most of the time when I have trouble with it, it’s lower back. This is middle. … I probably could have finished the seventh. I didn’t want to push it that far, where I have to miss a start. I’m hoping to be OK in two days, throw a bullpen and be ready to start against Milwaukee (on Wednesday).”

Is he hopeful or certain he will make his next start?

“I think I’ll make it,” he said.

We’ll see. It’s only April, so I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Oswalt miss a start to make sure his back is fine.

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Oswalt Said He Feels OK

oswalt autograph.jpg

Roy Oswalt got hit behind the right ear by a line drive yesterday in Port Charlotte. He spoke to reporters this morning at Bright House Field. He seemed to be in good spirits. The right side of his neck is swollen, but other than that looked fine.

Here is some of what he said:

Q: How do you feel? How did you sleep last night?
A: I actually slept pretty well. I’m a little bit stiff this morning, but overall I’m OK.

Q: Did you have any time to react?
A: Yeah. He didn’t hit it the best he could hit it. I saw it a little bit out in front of me. I thought it was going to go above me, and that’s why I tried to duck. But it had a little bit of top spin or something on it. The ball kind of tracked me.

Q: The neck looks swollen. It’s just stiff? It’s not painful or anything?
A: Just stiff.

Q: No headaches?
A: No. Last night a little bit, but not too bad.

Q: Are you going to have concussion tests?
A: I don’t know. We did a CT scan yesterday and it looked good.

Q: Have you ever had anything like that happen?
A: I’ve been hit a bunch, but not in the head. That’s the first time it got close.

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Line Drive Hits Oswalt In Neck

oswalt and dubee.jpgRoy Oswalt suffered the scariest moment of Spring Training today at Charlotte Sports Park, but the Phillies think he should be OK.

Manny Ramirez hit Oswalt just behind his right ear with a line drive in the fourth inning. Oswalt tumbled to the turf, coming to rest on his back. Charlie Manuel, Rich Dubee, assistant athletic trainer Mark Andersen and players rushed to his side as they feared the worst for one of their star pitchers.

“Scary,” Dubee said.

The Phillies think Oswalt should be fine. He suffered a bruised neck, but the Phillies said he never lost consciousness or experienced any dizziness. X-rays and a CT scan returned negative, and those who saw him in the clubhouse said he was coherent.

Teammate Brian Schneider drove Oswalt in Oswalt’s truck back to Clearwater.

“It looked bad until you got out there,” Dubee said. “I mean, it was still bad. But he responded well.”

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Springtime is Bonding Time

oswalt and lee.jpgIt is a common sight this spring to see some combination of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton hanging out at a table in the middle of the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field, eating breakfast and chatting before morning workouts.

The five starters seem to be getting along great.

Oswalt and Lee have gone to dinner a few times this spring while their families are back in Mississippi and Arkansas, respectively. They’ve gone fishing, too.

They basically had never spoken until this spring. They met once previously, but details remain foggy. They were both in Philadelphia for surgeries in 2003, and met each other in the waiting room. Lee was having hernia surgery. Oswalt was having groin sugery.

“We were so drugged up coming out of anesthesia,” Oswalt said. “I remember a guy being in there with me, but I didn’t know it was him at the time. He told me that he remembered me and my name. I remember he pitched for Cleveland. I never remembered his name. I remember just leaving. When I woke up I felt like I could leave the hospital, so I told the doctor I felt great. I walked out. He was going to walk out too and he stood up and said, ‘No, I think I’m going to stay here.’ So I left. We talked an hour or two. That’s the first time I ever met him. I didn’t know that until I came back here.”

Said Lee: “That was the only time I talked to him. I knew he was from Mississippi. I knew he was a redneck, so I figured I’d get along with him.”

So who’s the better fisherman?

“He’s been doing pretty well the last two times we went, but it’s pretty close,” Oswalt said.

Who’s the better hunter?

“Ain’t no way he’s getting close,” Oswalt said.

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The Top 100 Players in Baseball

IMG_0359.JPGMLB Network has been running its top 100 players in baseball, and the Phillies are well represented with seven players.

Let’s work from the bottom up:

82. Shane Victorino
71. Cole Hamels
51. Roy Oswalt
31. Cliff Lee
26. Chase Utley
25. Ryan Howard
2. Roy Halladay

Albert Pujols is the top-ranked player in baseball. Falling behind Halladay in the top 10 are Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton.

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Heard the weather is a bit nippy back in Philly. It’s 73 degrees already at 10 a.m. in Clearwater. Get down here.

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Your Early Spring Training Rotation

The Phillies posted their pitching schedule for their first four Grapefruit League games, and as it lines up their rotation to open the 2011 season will be in the following order: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton.

Here it is:

  • Saturday @ Yankees: Hamels, Vance Worley, Ryan Feierabend, Brian Schlitter and Mike Zagurski.
  • Sunday vs. Yankees: Blanton, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge.
  • Feb. 28 @ Blue Jays: Halladay, J.C. Ramirez, Michael Stutes, Juan Perez and Scott Mathieson.
  • March 1 vs. Tigers: Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Eddie Bonine, Dan Meyer, Danys Baez and Zagurski.

I assume Oswalt will pitch March 2 vs. Baltimore.

Drew Naylor will start Thursday against Florida State at Bright House Field. Also scheduled to face the Seminoles are Bonine, Perez, Stutes, Schwimer, DeFratus and Mathieson. Bonine also is scheduled to pitch Saturday in a “B” game against the Blue Jays in Clearwater.

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