In a sad turn of events this afternoon, Ace Pitcher Roy Oswalt was handed his first loss of the season against the Texas Rangers bringing his record to 11-1. Giving up 2 runs (on an RBI double to Josh Hamilton and an RBI single to Ian Kinsler) Oswalt's ERA for the season took a mighty jump to 2.61. Roy battled mightly striking out 8 in 8.2 innings pitched but sadly the solo HR hit by third baseman Miguel Cabrerra was not enough to keep our boys in it. Joe Morgan said himself, "The Wizard pitched a great game, but the offense didn't have what it took against Star of the game, Kevin Millwood". Is it time to trade Roy? The Astros are 64-5 on the season and can ill afford to lose any ground on their 24.5 game lead in the NL Central.
Oswalt has been nails for the Astros this season, winning 11 games in only 13 starts. His strikeout count is already at 105 for the season and averages 9ks per game. The Astros have averaged 12 runs per game up to this point in the season but could only muster a single run in the outing against their cross state rivals. The Astros did however win the Silver Boot Series by a margin of 5-1. First Baseman Lance Berkman went 1-4 with a double in the 5th that rolled right up the middle all the way to the wall but was stranded by the as of late slumping Carlos Lee, who went 0-4. Carlos has gone 0-8 in his last 2 appearances bringing his batting average this season to .486. Cabrerra's solo HR brings his total to 25 on the season, still behind the club leader Lance Berkman (40) and Carlos Lee (38).
Okay, enough fantasy land. I am a video gamer and at the beginning of every season, I break out the previous season's Xbox baseball game and draft/trade the best team I possibly can: taking Ed Wade's job for a season. And lemme tell ya, it's not the easiest job in the world. I was fortunate this year (due to the highly overvalued MIguel Tejada and Jose Valverde) that I was able to pillage quiet a few teams to yield the following lineup:
1b- Lance Berkman
2b- Dustin Pedroia
SS- Hanley Ramirez
3b- Miguel Cabrerra
C- Joe Mauer
LF- Carlos Lee
CF- Michael Bourn
RF- Andre Ethier
SP- myself (he looks like an overpowering Stephen Strasburg. I'm 13-0 with 135 ks and throw a mean Eephus)
I attempted to move Oswalt at this point in the season ala the "Real Houston Astros", but sadly the best deal put together was by the NY Yankees, who offered up Joba Chamberlin, Johnny Damon and a prospect. Sorry, that's just not gonna cut it for me. Oddly enough, the Phillies did try to take a stab at Oswalt, but a Roy Oswalt/Brandon Phillips straight up deal didn't appeal to me either. Hahaha. Silly Phillies.
Berkman on the other hand has garnered some real interest. I'm positive that he would with a batting line of .506/.785/1.043 40 HR 104 RBIs. Ah... if only.
Now back to reality.
Maybe I just got a little bit greedy asking for more than Captain Caveman and Kid Self-Destruct or arguably one of the better 2B in the NL. But hey, I'm an Astros fan and I love Roy Oswalt. I didn't want him to go! And then I thought back to what we (myself included) were all saying at the beginning/middle of the 2009 season and all of the 2010 season: "What Drayton McClane should do is trade Roy Oswalt. He deserves to pitch somewhere better. We should rebuild! Let's give the man a chance!" But during the process of making that happen, the name Roy Oswalt induceda bit of ire in the Bayou City. Heck, even I tweeted about 30-40 of #roydemands on Twitter (follow me @allphilla #shamelessplug) and had no second thoughts. The whole process of this will he or won't he situation took me to the point of "I wish they would just do it already".
I for one will always remember Roy O as a Hero in Houston. Roy was absolute NAILS in the 2005 NLCS. If only he could have pitched every game in the World Series. Remember when he was complaining of an injury in the off season, only to have it "cured" by an electric jolt while fixing his truck? How about straining his groin during a YANKEE NO HITTER! (sorry but I loathe the NY Yankees)? How about all of the times he came close to winning a Cy Young? Okay it wasn't that many. If Houston had to pick one guy to take the mound in the most important game of the Houston Astros' history, my sure bet would be Roy Oswalt. I also saw him pitch more than any other guys at Minute Maid over the last 3 years. Chris Sampson is up there but hey, I love me some Chris Sampson. Roy is, was, and always will be The Man in Houston. And I am sad to see him go.
Roy Oswalt, you will always have a place on my MLB 2K teams. That 12-6 curve of yours is just way too nasty. That is unless you ended up going to pitch for that team in South Beach.