While the Phillies' offense stubbornly refuses to come around—Domonic Brown failed to provide the magic elixir that somehow allows a team to score more than three runs in a game, going 0-4 in his season debut—they've managed to take their first two games against the Rangers this series with a simple formula: Eight innings of awesome starting pitching, and one inning of lockdown relief pitching. Certainly simplifies things, doesn't it? The Phils certainly have the rotation to put this plan into action with disturbing regularity, and they'll try once more this afternoon with Roy Oswalt taking the hill. Or maybe they'll score some runs instead. Who knows? The world was supposed to end last night, so there's no telling what the future holds at this point.
A Texan for the great majority of his career—though in Houston, of course, not Arlington—Roy O has had an uncharacteristically rough history against his interstate AL rivals. In 12 career starts against the Rangers, Oswalt is just 4-6 with a 4.54 ERA, without a single win against them since 2005 (0-5 with a 3.87 ERA since). We're hoping for a little better from Roy this time around, obviously, and his last start—a no-decision outing against the Cards where he gave up just one run in five innings of work—hopefully bodes well for that. With a starting lineup today that looks to include Wilson Valdez, John Mayberry and Dane Sardinha, all the run-prevention help we can get will certainly be appreciated.
1:35 first pitch from CBP. "Roy’s got good stuff, I was impressed," said one-time 'Stro teammate and current Cardinal Lance Berkman of Oswalt after his start in St. Louis. “He told me (last Sunday) he wasn’t feeling great and if that’s what he looks like when he’s not feeling great, I don’t want to face him when he is.” You and the entire state of Texas, Berkman.