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So, what does Roy Oswalt really do for the Phiilies?

Jul 29, 2010, 5:16 PM EDT

We know Roy Oswalt makes the Phillies better. That’s a no-brainer. But how much better? Better enough to send them surging past the Braves and into the postseason?  To answer that question, let’s look at some Random Royness:

  • Oswalt in Citizens Bank Park:  Oswalt has thrived in Citizens Bank Park, going 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts while giving up only one home run there in 27 innings, and that against a Phillies lineup that has been stacked for several years.  In short: Oswalt loves pitching in Philly, so this will be a great fit.
  • Oswalt against the Braves:  As the Mets slowly fall away, the NL East is turning into a two-horse race: Phillies vs. Braves.  Philly has dug itself a bit of a hole in recent weeks, but they’re on a roll right now.  Still, the road to the division title goes through Atlanta, with six games against the Braves in the final two weeks of the season, including the final three games of the year. Against the Braves, however, Oswalt is not so good:  0-3 with a 7.58 ERA in seven starts.  For him to be an asset rather than a liability against Atlanta down the stretch, that will have to change.
  • Oswalt in the Playoffs:  Say the Phillies do get into the postseason, via either the division crown or the wild card. What then?  Well then you have a pretty decent Oswalt: He’s 4-0 in eight starts with a 3.66 ERA.  That’s skewed a bit too by the fact that he got beat up pretty bad in his one World Series start against the White Sox in 2005.  But of course we’re still dealing with a small sample size, the last data point of which was five years ago.  The point here, I think, is that Oswalt has playoff experience and that can only help him and the Phillies.

OK, I’ll admit it: the reason I started in on this exercise is because I’m a shameless Braves fan who wanted an excuse to write about Oswalt’s struggles against Atlanta. But that doesn’t seem very relevant to me right now. All I’m seeing is that an already good team, on the upswing, just picked up a stud pitcher with playoff experience who does really well in his new park.

Maybe we can’t quantify what that does for the Phillies, but what it does is very, very good.

  1. JimmyY - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Yes, he does well AGAINST the Phillies but your statements prove nothing as he’s now on the same team. Same as the case vs. Atlanta, entirely different teams, different years, different players behind his back. Fun yes, relevant, no.

  2. Megary - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Actually, a better exercise would be to take Oswalt’s numbers and somehow subtract Happ’s numbers (still mostly useless over a small sample anyway, but less so). Then you would see how much the Phillies actually *improved*. Because while Happ may not be Oswalt, he wasn’t chopped liver.

  3. schmedley - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Happ will be missed. He will be a solid major leaguer for years after Oswalt is retired. Oswalt probably makes the Phillies better for this year and next. The trade also sends a message to the Phillies players that management is “all in” and that they are expected to kick it into high gear the rest of the way and not sleepwalk like zombies for long stretches like they are prone to do.

  4. Roll Tide NJ - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Great 1-2-3, makes them a favorite to win the NL. Phillies still need a closer if the want to wear another ring.

  5. Al - Jul 29, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    I’m sorry I am not a big Oswalt fan. He melts in big games I don’t see this as a division winner for Philadelphia. They jneeded someone in the pen who they can rely on.

  6. willmose - Jul 29, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Craig, you don’t need to set up a straw man to make us believe your Braves are good. The Braves are still the odds on favorite to win the division. The Phillies not so much even with Oswalt. The Phillies are, however, the NL leader in salary this year and probably the next year as well. Okay, the Mets could spend more but won’t until they get healthy.

  7. alex - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    @ al you just made that up out of your ass. in big games (i.e) the playoffs Oswalt’s 4-0 with a 3.66 ERA and in one game in the world series he got blown up by the white sox which means in the other games he was 3-0 with a sub 3 ERA.

  8. greggiebaba - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Um, you might want to take the time to correctly spell Phillies in your headline, just as a start.
    Second, great start by Oswalt tonight, getting schooled by Craig Stammen, the worst pitcher on the Nats.

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