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Not Too Good, Is It, Chief?

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Oswalt's Career Five Worst Starts By Game Score
Date Opp Dec IP H R ER HR BB K Game Score
7/18/2001 Vs. STL ND 4 1/3 11 8 7 1 2 5 14
8/27/2005 At LAD L 4-0/3 9 7 7 0 3 2 15
5/8/2006 At SF L 4 1/3 10 7 6 1 2 2 17
7/14/2007 At CHC L 5 1/3 10 9 8 1 2 6 18
5/6/2005 At ATL L 5-0/3 10 9 7 1 0 5 20

I'm sure you've read by now that the earned runs this afternoon represent a career worst for Roy Oswalt. Roy's career worst in runs overall was set in April of '03 with 10 (only 5 earned) while his worst in hits, if you were wondering, is 12, most recently tied June 17, vs. Seattle.

Coincidentally--or perhaps not--Saturday was the second time in 2007 where Oswalt both struck out 6 AND had a Game Score under 30. Roy also struck out six in his second-best game of the year, May 17 at home vs. San Francisco, when he notched a 73 Game Score while going seven scoreless.

Oswalt has now had ten Game Scores under 30 in his career; despite what you might expect if you've been following his season, they don't appear to be coming any faster lately. Two were in 2001, three were in 2004, two were in 2005, one was in 2006, and this makes the second this year.

So the troughs don't appear to be becoming more frequent, although I do wonder if the peaks are flattening out a bit.

Game Scores certainly pay attention to the strikeout, and Oswalt's de-emphasis of the strikeout in his arsenal has been well-discussed, here and elsewhere.

But should we be worried that none of Oswalt's ten best games by Game Score have been pitched this year? Or that his best pitched game of the year, April 7 vs. St Louis, only just barely sneaks into a career top twenty list at number 20?