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Game Hero/WPA, 13 - 5

Roy Oswalt
  • W, 4 - 0, 2.48 ERA
  • 7 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 0 BB, 1 ER
  • 68 Game Score
  • 23:6 K/BB ratio on the season
  • Nothing special, just 7 nice 'n' easy, dominating innings

I'm gonna override the WPA contraption, and go with Roy for Game Hero. Morgan hit the two-run dinger in the first and the game was over, but the way Roy was pitching, it looks like he could have hung out until somebody hit a two run jack, coulda been anybody.

Roy will definitely lull you to sleep from time to time, and this game was one of them. But when he was finished, he'd done what he almost always does in these situations: With the Pirates already in trouble before Roy even stepped on the hill, he stepped on their jugular. Without making a big deal of it, he offered no quarter. Without even exerting himself all that much, he throttled the already limited chances the Pirates had until they were just these dry and withered husks for the grounds crew to pick up afterwards.

I love Wandy and Andy and Brandon and Christ now Taylor, but Oswalt is an unqualified ace reaching his peak right now, during the very same section of the early 21st century that we all happen to inhabit. For those of you young enough to have never seen this kind of thing before, pay attention: it's something you can use to impress people with when you get a little older. "Oh, I was watching Oswalt when we looked up and there he was, the best fucking pitcher in the National League." People talk that way about Clemens now, and Maddux or Glavine or Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson, or Steve Carlton, you can go back as far as you want, and it's the way they're gonna talk about Royboy one day.

I'm trying to quantify the difference between Oswalt in 2003 and Oswalt now, and I'm having a difficulty distilling it into words. But what it might boil down to is that now, the game is his, and he knows it. In 2003, as good as he was even then, half his reputation was promise and potential. Man, how good is that Oswalt gonna be in a few years? people would ask incredulously. Now we're finding out.

Biggio was tempting, but in the end Bidge's contributions looked better on his stat sheet than they did in the box score. Don't get the idea that I'm calling him selfish, nothing could be further from what I mean, but I dunno, that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Not only did Biggio do his endlessly fascinating leadoff homer routine for the 46th time; not only did he extend his club record for four hit games to 32, but Biggio also scored run number 100 for the Astros today, in what was obviously the club's 18th game. That got me curious. In 2005, the Astros didn't score run number 100 until May 2, in their 24th contest.

And now that the Mets have lost, you can say it: Astros have the best record in the league.

Win Expectancy Chart

click to open larger version in new window

Top Five Astros
Ensberg   0.149
Oswalt    0.141
Biggio   0.114
Everett   0.040
Burke*   0.039
Bottom Four Astros
Ausmus 0.000
Bruntlett -0.001
Gallo -0.009
Taveras -0.030
Top Three Pirates
J Wilson   0.039
Sanchez   0.015
Cota   0.012

*He'd be lower, but I couldn't figure out how to penalize him for his second baserunning mistake. . . .