Tag:Roy Oswalt
Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:01 pm
 

NLCS pitching matchup one for the ages

Could anyone have asked for a better NLCS matchup? (Okay, after putting partisan picks aside.)

The Phillies will do battle with the Giants for the right to advance to the World Series, and at the forefront of it will be the most valued commodity in baseball: pitching. Both teams will square off with the best three-deep postseason pitching matchup since 1992's World Series.

Here is a breakdown of the top three starters, plus the projected Game 4 starters.

Tim Lincecum GAME 1

In Game 1, Roy Halladay will battle Tim Lincecum (right). "The Freak" has won the last two Cy Youngs for the Giants, but he has no shot this year -- some due to his own regression, but Halladay is another big reason why. This is as marquee as a matchup can get, and it will be done on the stage of the NLCS.

THE SKINNY :
Lincecum: 16-10, 212 1/3 IP, 3.43 ERA, 3.21 xFIP, 231 K, 76 BB
Halladay: 21-10, 250 2/3 IP, 2.44 ERA, 2.92 xFIP, 219 K, 30 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Lincecum: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 14 K, W
Halladay: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, W

THE EDGE:
Lincecum struggled through a brutal August, but turned it around and is as hot as any pitcher can be. Halladay is coming off a no-hitter (pictured below, celebrating), and there's just no way to pick an edge. Feel sorry for the offenses.

GAME 2

How much in common do the Phillies and Giants have? So much in common that they're choosing not to slot in a lefty in-between right-handed starters. Nope, the No. 2 starters, handedness be damned, belong to Roy Oswalt and Matt Cain. Oswalt has been stupendous since leaving Houston for Philly, and Cain would be the ace of most teams.

THE SKINNY:
Cain: 13-11, 223 1/3 IP, 3.14 ERA, 4.19 xFIP, 177 K, 61 BB
Oswalt: 13-13, 211 2/3 IP, 2.76 ERA, 3.45 xFIP, 193 K, 55 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Cain: 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Oswalt: 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

THE EDGE:
Oswalt admitted he was rusty in Game 2 of the NLDS, but don't expect that to slow him down. While Cain spun a nice game against the Braves, Oswalt still has him beat in total numbers, so this is also a push.

GAME 3

And here is an all-lefty Game 3, with Jonathan Sanchez and Cole Hamels opposing each other. Sanchez has a no-hitter to his name. Hamels has a World Series MVP trophy. It ain't gonna be easy, especially for Philly's lefty-laden lineup. Say this about the Giants: they have many options from each side.

Roy Halladay THE SKINNY:
Hamels: 12-11, 208 2/3 IP, 3.06 ERA, 3.43 xFIP, 211 K, 61 BB
Sanchez: 13-9, 193 1/3 IP, 3.07 ERA, 4.11 xFIP, 205 K, 96 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Hamels: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Sanchez: 1 GS, 7 1/2 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

THE EDGE:
This one isn't a push. Sanchez is a great pitcher with no-hit stuff, but Hamels is consistently great. That gives him a pretty clear edge over Sanchez, but not a gigantic one. Offense aside, this is the one matchup the Phillies need to take advantage of.

GAME 4

Game 4 will likely be started by Joe Blanton and Madison Bumgarner. Each has warts, but each has pros as well. The edge here has to be given to the Giants, which helps make up for losing the Hamels edge. If either team is in a 3-0 hole, a three-man rotation could happen.

THE SKINNY:
Blanton: 9-6, 175 2/3 IP, 4.82 ERA, 4.06 xFIP, 134 K, 43 BB
Bumgarner: 7-6, 111 IP, 3.00 ERA, 4.03 xFIP, 86 K, 26 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Blanton: Did not pitch
Bumgarner: 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

THE EDGE:

Bumgarner is left-handed, which plays against Philadelphia's lineup and has the experience of clinching the NLDS against the Braves. Blanton has been a bit unlucky this season while Bumgarner has been a bit lucky, but luck derives momentum, and momentum is everything in the postseason. Edge to Giants.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Edmonds' status still in the air

Jim Edmonds The Reds aren't counting out Jim Edmonds yet.

Edmonds, who is dealing with an Achilles injury, will give the team the final word after today's workout in Philadelphia, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

If Edmonds can't go, the team will go with rookie Juan Francisco. The Reds sent first baseman Yonder Alonso home.

"[Francisco] can play more positions," manager Dusty Baker said. "If Scotty [Rolen] comes up sore or something, we've got another bona fide third baseman."

Baker said the team would go up until tomorrow's 10 a.m. deadline to set the roster.

However, outfielder Laynce Nix who missed much of the last month of the season with a sprained ankle will be on the roster and will likely start Friday against Roy Oswalt.

"He hits him better than anyone we've got," Baker said.

Nix is 9 for 17 with three doubles and two homers in his career against Oswalt.

The Reds will load up on the left-handers in the bullpen to face the Phillies, with Arthur Rhodes, Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray and Travis Wood available in relief.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 5:33 pm
 

Phillies announce NLDS rotation

Roy Oswalt The Phillies will go with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in the NLDS, manager Charlie Manuel announced.

Philadelphia has no need for a fourth starter as the club selected the eight-day NLDS schedule, allowing a three-man rotation with each pitcher pitching on normal rest. Of course, the flip side of the coin is that the opposing team (currently shaping up to be the Reds) will also be able to use a three-man rotation -- but no team's three-man rotation can match up to the pitchers the Phillies will trot out.

"That’s exactly what we think, that was our thinking," Manuel said according to the Times Herald .

Halladay is the pretty obvious choice to draw the first start, as the probable Cy Young winner has a 21-10 record to go along with a 2.44 ERA and 2.93 xFIP in 250 2/3 innings. The right-hander will be followed by yet anther righty in Roy Oswalt, who has 210 2/3 innings split between the Astros and Phillies on the year. Total, he has a 13-13 mark with a 2.73 ERA and 3.47 xFIP that has placed him back in elite pitcher territory after a brief hiatus. That ERA is 1.65 in 12 starts with Philadelphia.

Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, checks in third with 206 2/3 innings with a 3.09 ERA, 3.43 xFIP and 12-11 record.

How can anyone compete?

The one question that arises here is why Hamels isn't pitching second to split up the righty Roys. The answer is two-fold. First, Hamels has a head cold that Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee are concerned about, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Starting him third gives him an extra day to get on his feet.

Lastly, Oswalt flat-out dominates the Reds in his career. In 34 games, he has a 23-3 line with a 2.81 ERA. Granted, that line has sank to 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA (and both games were while he was an Astro) in a year where the Reds won the division title as opposed to being afterthoughts, but those are some mighty impressive numbers regardless.

Oswalt, perhaps unsurprisingly then, lines up to face the Reds in a crucial Game 5 if necessary to advance to the NLCS.

 -- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:03 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 1:32 am
 

Braves may miss Phillies' Roys

Today could go down as one of the most important days in the Braves' chase of the wild card.

Not only did Atlanta beat Florida 3-2 to keep their wild card lead, but the Phillies also announced Roy Halladay wouldn't pitch against the Braves in Atlanta this weekend and now it looks as if Roy Oswalt won't be making his start, either.

Oswalt told David Hale of the News Journal that he doesn't expect to make his start, but will continue to throw in the bullpen.

"I think we need to throw a little bit more than normal between [games] so you'll be fresh," Oswalt said. "A lot of times if you take too much time off, you'll get a little high in the zone. You need to work back down. So I'll throw a little extra between now and whenever I start."

The Phillies have yet to make it official that Oswalt won't start.

UPDATE: To make things even better for the Braves, the Padres lost 5-2 to the Cubs, giving the Braves a 1 1/2 game lead in the wild card. Also with their loss to the Dodgers, the Rockies were eliminated from the wild card race.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 28, 2010 5:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:00 pm
 

Phillies elect to start NLDS on Oct. 6

The Phillies will begin their National League Division Series on Wednesday next week, manager Charlie Manuel told reporters before Tuesday's game.

Philadelphia holds the National League's best record and therefore had the choice to start Wednesday or Thursday. The series will start in Philadelphia and continue on Friday at Citizen's Bank Park, followed by road games on Sunday and Monday, putting Game 5 on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

The other NLDS will start Thursday and play on the other days. The extra day off allows the Phillies to use just three starters -- Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, with Halladay coming back for Game 4 on normal rest.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee tells the Philadelphia Daily News ' David Murphy that there's a "real good chance" Halladay won't pitch again during the regular season. Halladay pitched last night. That's good news for the Braves and bad news for the Giants and/or Padres. The Braves and Phillies finish the season with three games this weekend, and if the Phillies choose to rest their big three starters, the Braves will have a better shot at the wild card while the Giants and Padres play each other.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:51 am
 

Bochy calls out stars for conditioning

Pablo Sandoval
One is too big, the other too small.

And Giants manager Bruce Bochy said both of his young stars, Pablo Sandoval and Tim Lincecum, need to get into the gym. The skipper made some frank comments Wednesday about how failure to be in shape has affected them.

"In this game, I don't think players should ever feel they've arrived," Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News. "They should always seek to improve. And not only in how they play, but what kind of shape they're in."

In Sandoval's case, that shape is round. "Panda" is a catchy nickname, but you don't want a panda playing third base -- which, given the 24-year-old's increasing size and decreasing range, he might not be able to continue to do for long. A move to first could be in his future.

Sandoval went through a "Camp Panda" program in Arizona last winter, attempting to slim down, but it didn't seem to take. He was listed at 262 pounds to start the season, though that number is simply whatever the team chooses to submit.

Bochy hinted that there might be a tough trainer on retainer to push Sandoval, who batted .330 last year in his first full season but has seen that drop to .276 this year, through next winter.

"Pablo and I will talk about that," Bochy said, smiling. "We may have somebody in mind already. That all will be addressed when the season is over."

Lincecum's delivery requires that he remain lithe and flexible, but the issues for him are cardiovascular conditioning and lower-body strength. Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt, also a power guy of relatively slight stature, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Lincecum's drop in velocity had to be a conditioning issue and that pitchers like them "have to do twice the work a bigger guy's going to do."

"With Timmy, it's all strength and stamina," Bochy said. "But I'll say this: He's taken responsibility already for putting in more time and effort into his workouts. He's been spending more time in the weight room. He's got a routine. But that has to carry throughout the offseason, too."

The manager is hopeful that the struggles of the young duo have served as a wakeup call about the importance of conditioning.

"They are two young players with special gifts and talents," Bochy said. "But you still have to work at all parts of the game, and that includes conditioning. Sometimes you learn in your second or third season how important that is. Players realize how hard they have to work to continue the level of performance they want to play at."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:50 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 12:48 am
Edited on: August 25, 2010 1:49 pm
 

Oswalt plays in left

It was certainly an odd thing to hear -- "now batting, the left fielder, Roy Oswalt."

But it was said and it was correct.

Roy Oswalt Oswalt then grounded out to end the game, a 4-2 Astros victory in 16 innings at Citizen's Bank Park. The game started Tuesday and finished early Wednesday morning in five hours and 20 minutes. The Astros intentionally walked Chase Utley, putting the tying run on first, to get to Oswalt with two outs in the 16th.

Oswalt entered the game as the left fielder for the 15th inning after Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was ejected after he was called out on a check swing to end the 14th inning with two runners on.

After the checked swing, Howard flipped his bat and was tossed. Howard had already given third-base umpire Scott Barry a stare-down after a similar call. Once Howard was ejected, the first baseman stormed down the baseline toward Barry and had to be held back by his teammates.

Ross Gload, currently on the disabled list, was also ejected for his comments from the dugout.

With no position players available, Oswalt was put in left field and Raul Ibanez was moved from left to first.

"We felt like Oswalt's athletic, he catches fly balls and stuff so we put him in the outfield," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

To lead off the 15th, Houston's Jason Castro flied out to Oswalt in left. Ibanez, making his first appearance at first since 2005, then recorded two putouts, including a nice play on Michael Bourn's bunt attempt.

Oswalt became the second pitcher to record an out in the outfield this season. St. Louis' Kyle Lohse had a putout in the April 17 game between the Mets and Cardinals that went 20 innings.

Ibanez was unable to come up with a throw on a double play attempt in the 16th that led to a run.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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