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Interleague Matchup Game 66 at Kansas City



Roy Oswalt   DJ Carrasco
7 - 7, 2.85 2 - 1, 2.33

Everything's all discombobulated today; server problems before the game and a wine tasting with my lovely girlfriend during it have made the order of posting stories a little backwards.

The Astros have already defeated the Royals, so I've edited the story I would have posted before the game to reflect what happened during the game--namely, Roy gets the decision and the win.

And since I didn't see the game, and didn't post a game thread, I will in a couple hours post a WPA chart, along with the game hero, based on what the numbers tell me (I think Willy T's got a shot).

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With Dontrelle Willis having been victimized by his bullpen out in California earlier today, it appears to me that Roy Oswalt is now not only a) the last pitcher who has taken his regular turn in the rotation each time since the first week of the season who has not received a no-decision, but also b) the pitcher with the most decisions.

Now, Roy has been good, but it is not really the quality of his pitching that is being reflected here. It is more the decisiveness of his efforts.

Sorta.

In Roy's starts, what has happened, has happened with Roy in the game. Certainly one group that Oswalt can't blame for his mediocre won/loss record is his bullpen. As a matter of fact, the bullpen has been charged with a total of 4 runs in Roy's starts all year: Springer gave up one after Roy allowed 6 to the Cards opening day, and Qualls gave up two after Roy gave up a lone run in a shutout loss to Milwaukee May 27th. And tonight Springer gave up another.

Put another way, 39 runs have been scored by the opposing team in Roy's 15 starts. Roy has given up 35 of them.

Now another hypothetical quality pitcher, maybe a little more poorly served by his bullpen, or maybe much less, um, definitive, in each individual start, or maybe simply with more offensive support, could have a couple or three wins AND losses removed from his record. Roy might, in some alternate universe, be sitting at 6 - 3.

But he might rather be where he is, because in the Cy Young race, the wins count more than the losses, if you can get to 20 wins.

For example, Jake Peavy is 5 - 2 as I write, 5 - 2 with a 2.79. And his .740 win percentage or whatever it is certainly sounds better than Oswalt's .533. But the 5 - 1 record that the Pads have compiled in Peavey's no decisions is certainly not helping him make any future arbitration cases, so to speak. Come the end of September (assuming San Diego doesn't make the playoffs), I'm sure Peavy would trade that 5 - 1 team record straight up for a 3 - 3 personal record. 'Cause I bet he wins 16 or 17.

Given how his season has been "one up, one down," it's odd thinking tonight of Oswalt as an eight-game winner. The numbers, if funny, don't lie though: he's tied for fifth in the league in wins, and despite the .533 win percentage, stands as good a chance as anyone but Willis to win 20. And yeah, that includes Jake Peavy.