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Roy Oswalt returns, gets smacked around

Jun 21, 2013, 9:44 AM EST

Roy Oswalt AP

On the bright side Roy Oswalt struck out 11 dudes in five innings. Unfortunately those were accompanied by four runs on nine hits. Not the greatest day ever, but the strikeouts are an encouraging sign.

Or are they? Strikeouts weren’t his problem last season during is forgettable stint with the Rangers. There he struck out a man per inning in his 59 innings of work.

His next three starts come against the Red Sox, Dodgers and Dbacks. Really curious to see if he continues to go all or nothing on the missing bats game.

  1. mc1439 - Jun 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I think the strikeouts are indicative that he still has stuff left. Like Erik Bedard at the beggining of the season he could strike people out but got hit around a bit and couldn’t really make it past the 4th inning at times. Now his arm strength is built up and he is still stricking people out and recording 6-7 scoreless frames each time out for like the past month. Keep him on a pitch count no matter the results until his arm strength is back (which the Rangers didn’t have time for last year, despite solid periphials.)

  2. stex52 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I didn’t see any of the game last night, so I don’t know. But I have long experience of Roy. He gets the strikeouts because he can still bring the fastball. But he wins or loses based on the quality of the curve/ changeup. I’m guessing he may not have had mastery of those last night.

  3. steelers88 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I wouldn’t say he got smacked around giving up 4 runs in your 1st start in the MLB is pretty good. I thought he pitched decent at times.

  4. tanzkommandant - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    What is the obsession w/ washed up pitchers making a comeback attempt? The guy was at one time a nice pitcher. He no longer can compete at the highest level so move on. There isn’t a single pitcher in the minors who could give it a go?

    • sandrafluke2012 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      So if you were making millions in your career past your prime, you would quit? Ha

      • tanzkommandant - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        This wasn’t a commentary on his or my desire for income, as you were seemingly unable to comprehend. It was directed towards the media which hypes these things up & the organizations who keep hiring them.

  5. wjchen468 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Clearly Craig didn’t watch the game or highlights. I was at the game. I think it is a little harsh to say he got smacked around. Oswalt pretty much matched Zimmerman pitch for pitch through 3.2 innings, the only difference was that one of Oswalt’s 3 hits allowed went for a home run. But starting in the 3rd inning Oswalt’s defense really let him down. First, in the 3rd the run scored when the SS (or maybe 3rd baseman, forget which) bobbled an infield single allowing it to kick into the outfield. Which allowed the runner on second to score rather then stop on 3rd. It wasn’t a routine play, but had the SS corralled the ball the runner wouldn’t have scored. Oswalt got the next guy out to end the ending.

    If Craig had thoroughly reviewed the box score he might have noticed something amiss. The two runs scored in the 5th came off a Adam LaRoche triple. Read that again…Adam LaRoche triple. Anyone who has been to Nats Park knows that for LaRoche to get a triple there will take some crazy play. In this case the centerfielder simply decided not to catch the ball. With 1 out and runners on second and third (by virtue of a two singles and a stolen base). LaRoche hit a ball to deep center, certainly far enough to get the runner in from 3rd on a sacrifice fly. But for reasons unknown, Tyler Colvin simply let the ball drop in front of him. I was sitting in the center field seats about twenty feet away. It sure looked like Colvin was settling under it to catch it…but then he just stopped. I guess he lost it in the sun…except it was night out. In any event the ball bounced behind him allowing both runners to score and LaRoche get to 3rd. Oswalt got the next two guys out without allowing LaRoche to score.

    I am neither a Nats or a Rockies fan so I am impartial here. Oswalt actually pitched quite well. According to the radar gun he was between 92 and 95 MPH with his fast ball. Early on he was able to keep it down in the zone and the Nats largely couldn’t do much with Oswalt. But he was clearly tiring in the 5th and leaving it up in the zone which allowed for the two hits that set up Colvin’s circus.

    So, to say Oswalt got knocked around isn’t really correct. But for some pretty bad defense (a couple other hits were of the hundred hop through the infield past foot-in-cement defenders, like Helton). Oswalt probably only gives up one or two runs in 5, and about three to four fewer hits.

    • wjchen468 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      I meant starting in the 4th Inning.

    • stex52 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like Craig spent a lot of time on that LaRoche triple.

      • wjchen468 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Didn’t see the comment in “that’s What Happened” until after the post. So, yeah Craig did notice the craziness of a LaRoche triple. The rest of my comment stands though. Oswalt really did not get “knocked around.” Another thing Craig failed to mention is that Oswalt did not allow a walk. Oswalt pitched well, but for some bad defense, his line would have looked a lot better then it did.

        Funniest thing was watching Oswalt give Colvin the stink eye after the play.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

      Damn my having to work – I was going to write the same thing but had to wait all day and you beat me to it! But you said it all better than I could have, anyway.

      Craig is totally off base here. Oswalt did just what he wanted to – and those Ks aren’t cheap, he fanned LaRoche, Zimmerman, Werth 2 or 3 times. That’s the heart of the order. He pitched really well and it was Colvin’s somehow-not-an-error and Herrera’s booting the ground ball to allow the second Nats run that screwed Oswalt. Ottavino pitched poorly out of the pen, so maybe it didn’t matter, but I don’t know what Craig meant to say with this post unless it was a plea for help from someone who saw the game to explain it all. And you did. So he owes you a beer or something.

      Anybody have any theories why Craig’s posts lately have been mostly troll jobs or else meaningless stuff like this Oswalt piece? I get that being a troll drives traffic, but some of this stuff is way beneath anything that would have ever shown up on Circling the Bases, and some of it seems like he’s working way to hard to say something when there’s no point to be made. I mean, Oswalt struck out 11 but that’s not the “story” here? That’s too much effort to make a weak point that was wrong anyway.

  6. wjchen468 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Correction, I meant starting in the 4th Inning.

  7. hansob - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    I thought we were past the whole “he gave up 9 hits and 4 runs, therefore, he must have pitched poorly” narrative. I realize he’s probably not going to have an 11 to 0 walk/K ratio every game, but you don’t do that if you’re just serving them up.

    • hansob - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      and not to be the ultimate Oswalt apologist, but he did have a .378 BABIP last year with the Rangers.

  8. birdsnblues - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Thanks Wjchen… You were spot on.

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