For Phillies, two Roys are better than one

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

CLEARWATER, FLA. (AP) - Being the other Roy on the Philadelphia Phillies‘ staff of aces is just fine with Roy Oswalt.

Roy Halladay received most of the attention last year because he threw a perfect game, a no-hitter in his first postseason start and won the NL Cy Young Award.

Cliff Lee stole the headlines when he shocked everyone by signing a $120 million, five year contract with the Phillies instead of taking more money from the New York Yankees.

Cole Hamels has the most outgoing personality in the group, and the only World Series ring among the four top starters.

Oswalt doesn’t care about the spotlight. In fact, he’s at his best when he shares it. The 33-year-old right-hander had consecutive 20-win seasons in 2004-05 with the Houston Astros when Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were his teammates.

“When Roger and Andy pitched with me, they got most of the media attention and most of the publicity and it was good,” Oswalt said. “They picked up the slack. Most of the questions here are gonna deal with Cliff and Doc winning the Cy Young, so let them handle it.”

Oswalt barely spoke during a news conference with the other members of the starting rotation last week. He answered two questions and only because both were addressed to him.

That doesn’t mean Oswalt is difficult. He’s certainly no Albert Belle. Oswalt is actually the most visible of the Fab Five starters. He sat at his locker every morning during the first week of spring training and did several one-on-one interviews, politely talking in his Mississippi drawl to anyone who approached him.

Coming to Philadelphia from Houston has rejuvenated Oswalt. The Astros were a going-nowhere team, and Oswalt wanted to be on a team with a chance to win a World Series. He didn’t get much run support with the Astros and was just 6-12 despite a 3.42 ERA before the trade last July.

Oswalt delivered, helping catapult the Phillies into first place. Down the stretch, Oswalt was even better than Halladay. The three-time All-Star was 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA with Philadelphia. Halladay was 9-2 during that span, but his ERA was more than a run higher at 2.94.

“Any time you are in the playoff hunt, you are gonna pitch better,” Oswalt said. “Being in Houston half the year, we were out of it by the All-Star break. You didn’t feel that sense of trying to get to something. You feel that you are just trying to get through the year. When you know you have a good enough team to win the whole thing, and we have a great chance to do that this year, you just try to do your part because everyone is going to do their part.”

Oswalt learned a lot from Clemens and Pettitte as a youngster. He sees similarities with Philadelphia’s staff.

“Those guys had a plan before they got to the field of what they were trying to do during the game,” he said. “Their preparation is probably the best thing I picked up from them. On the field, everyone pitches their own style. You don’t really get mechanics or anything like that from anybody on the field. But the preparation is probably the biggest thing from those guys.

“I come here and these guys do the same thing. First day I get here, I see Doc and Cole in the video room taking notes on different things they’re going to try to do in the game. I think good pitchers that are trying to get better, you try to do every little thing to win.”

Oswalt does whatever it takes to win, even if it means playing an unfamiliar position or taking on a different role. In late August, Oswalt was called upon to play left field in the 14th inning of a game against Houston after the Phillies ran out of position players.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama

  • Dinesh D'Souza's "America: Imagine the World Without Her" got promising reviews from two major Hollywood publications. It opens nationwide Wednesday.

    D’Souza on Costco debacle: ‘It was really bizarre’