Oswalt Unpoised in Phillies Debut

Posted by Corey Seidman, Sat, July 31, 2010 03:31 AM | Comments: 69

Don’t misinterpret this headline – no judgment is being passed on Roy Oswalt’s ability after one late July start. I mean, it’s not as if Roy Number Two a) pitched well in his debut Friday, b) hit his spots, or c) threw effective breaking pitches, but the mediocre first impression he left is not indicative of the The Real Roy Oswalt.

THAT is not the Oswalt you’re gonna get. So there’s no need for overreaction and even less of a need for worries.

There’s your “good” news. The bad news is that Oswalt looked completely unpoised in his six innings of work – letting his emotions show almost on-cue following every hanging breaking ball.

Now, emotions can be refreshing at times. Bill Simmons wrote a bunch of words last night about how boring players create an air of apathy (he didn’t write those exact words, but mentioned how it’s hard to identify with J.D. Drew because he carries a pokerface wherever he goes.)

Very, very rarely, however, are profanity and frustrated body language beneficial on the mound.

Once upon a time, Cole Hamels got flustered easily. The best way to describe Hamels’ prior tendencies after a poor play in the field would be “visibly upset.” This is how Oswalt appeared after Roger Bernadina’s double, Adam Dunn’s hit by pitch, and Josh Willingham’s two-run double.

On Bernadina’s double, Oswalt blatantly said “f–k, motherf—er,” almost immediately after Comcast SportsNet’s director called for a close-up on him. He made sure to add a “f–k, son of a b—h” before delivering his next pitch.

There are many reasons a pitcher can struggle on a given night, but poise, a solid mindset, and the ability to execute each play a massive role in subsequent outcomes. It is ironic that Oswalt’s blood pressure increased so much Friday night, because the pitcher he was traded for, J.A. Happ, is an absolute corpse on the mound. Nothing phases him.

(But, uh…yeah, I’ll still take Oswalt’s talent.)

Rarely is a pitcher effective once the floodgates of frustration open. Carlos Zambrano has showed us time and time and time again. The Hamels of old showed us, too, and Brett Myers before him. Friday was an off-night for Oswalt, but there was no-coming-back-for-him once he let his irritation build and surface.

An adjective like “fiery” is not something we can read about on paper from references in Houston. Oswalt may be an extremely fiery guy. That is something we’ll see for ourselves and be able to better determine after a few more starts. Maybe he is just so high strung that emotions and expletives fly no matter what the situation.

Or, hey, maybe he just can’t execute against the Nationals. On May 31, Oswalt pitched only 2.2 innings versus the Nats before his repeated arguing with home plate umpire Bill Hohn led to an ejection. Oswalt couldn’t hit his spots that day against Washington, nor could he on Friday.

The good news is: you don’t have to worry about his performance. This was merely an ill-timed off-night for Oswalt.

The bad news is, New Roy needs work on his pokerface.

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About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Howard needs a day off. I think he’s gone 0-4 with a bunch of Ks in his last 3 games.

    Ibanez hitting, Werth hitting… but the Big Piece went cold. No wonder we stopped scoring runs.

  • Posts: 0 ActuallyChilled

    Well said Archer, thanks for your insights. Unfortunately some of the egos on this board won’t recognize advise that goes beyond fixation on the win-now or ‘most important thing in the world is for me to win a vicarious championship’ mentality. It is obvious when intellectually driven commentary hits the pride of others who feel insecure about their own ultimate perspectives. Anyway, I wanted to point that out because many of the reactions to you completely miss the core of a well-intended message. I’m sure this comment will further offend people’s pride. But I am realistic, not believing that one should dictate one’s life simply in fear of offending others.

    But actually I can agree morally with what the Phillies have done in this case, and believe it was linked closely to financial flexibility. Also in the 2008 under the bus scenario, is not fully accurate in the case that Happ was a 2009 contributor. Happy to support these guys forward to continue playing quality ball!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Marlins got left handed reliever Will Ohman from baltimore. He too would have looked great in a phils uniform.
    Oh well the Phils got the big fish. Looks like we are going to continue on with the Pen with the least amount of innings pitched. Hopefully.

  • Posts: 0 ActuallyChilled

    Essentially, it is hilarious/sad that when someone writes a message containing meaningful contemplation, the person is regularly bashed, as the habit of this society is to insult and ridicule thoughtfulness; much like the high-school bully syndrome. On the contrary US society often rewards ignorance, stupidity, and folly, as evidenced by pop culture. In some respects in think this is because the promotion of ignorance is a safe haven against the projection of arrogance, although I believe it is taken too far.

    On another note, go phils!! :)

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    We really try to keep it positive here. I think you will find it that way.
    There are certain people who come in solely to cause trouble. The key is to not let them get to you. Talk the phils and have fun.

  • Posts: 0 Tracey

    Did Oswalt even have a chance to meet his teammates before they threw him out on the mound last night? It seemed like they were out of sync, not working as a team yet, and I think that accounts for a lot of what we saw last night (which definitely was not good). I still have hopes that the Oswalt trade will work out well for us. But I can’t get past the fact that this is just a big flashing sign over Amaro’s head saying, “I screwed up trading Lee,” because we got very little in return for Lee, and we gave up far too much to get someone who is, by all accounts, almost-but-not-quite-as-good-as Lee.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The Phils will be fine – if Howard is sitting tonight, excellent for that.
    Cheeseburger will do OK, I just hope our offense shows up, I’m sure the Nats remember it well from April.

    Did anyone catch what the Rockies did to the Cubs last night? Eleven 2 out hits in a row in the bottom of the 8th on to a 12 run inning as they pasted that schnook Pin-headella 17-2. I know there were 2 homers in that inning, at least 1 triple and a handful of doubles. Can you imagine? The Rox batted around twice that inning!

    Oh well – If the Phils string together 2 or 3 hits in 1 inning I get all excited anymore..

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    This post probably only has maybe 3 references to the pitcher formerly known as the Phils Ace, who led us into the 09 WS – Tracey – stop!!!!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Lee is done after this year to the 150 million dollar contract to the Yankees or whoever. Oswalt is paid next year half by the Astros then we have an option for the following year.

    People really dont understand. Yea the Lee trade wasnt that great. But the Phils are fine now. We still dont even know what we got for lee. You dont judge prospects on partial season. What did we give up for lee? Any of those guys doing anything? and Ben is still a part of the Phils.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Brooks the Cubs are a disgrace. They offered Zambrano to the Mets straight up and the Mets said no. Oliver Perez LOL
    Highest pay roll in the NL.
    Some say Cubs fans are the best. I disagree. They accept the losing. The lovable losers sell out every game no matter how bad the team is. They could do with some booing and bags over thier heads and boycotts.

  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    Cut Oswalt some slack already. Pretty much the whole team sucked last night. Oswalt only could have probably only saved it if he threw a CG shutout.

    Cheeseburger Joe takes the mound tonight. Hopefully he is getting his house in order.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Watching MLB HOF round table. Whitey Herzog mentions Charlie Manuel as a possible future hall of fame manager. Now that would be awesome. Thats a good reason to want the phils to win another title.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Charlie is just not liked Andrew. No reason he should not be the TOP consideration in the past 3 years for Manager of the Year – I’m glad he was the first NL manager to lead the NL to a victory in the AS game so the NL can host the WS – give credit where it is due. Sure, we see his shortcomings but at the end of the regular season, Cholly will still be chuggin’ along.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I was hoping they’d make a move for Farnswerth. Oh well. I think the Bull pen would be OK if you had figgy and Bastardo instead of Baez and Herndon. Disappointed they didn’t deal Herndon if only to make room for Bastardo who is healthy. 7 straight scoreless outings at Lehigh.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Anyone else having trouble scrolling comments on their iphone since the new server went up?

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Brett Myers is close to signing a multi-year extension in Houston. He’s having a great year. A 3.10 ERA and hasn’t failed to go at least six innings in each of his 21 starts this season.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Psujoe: Bastardo will probably be called up, sooner rather than later. I think they’re just waiting for someone to implode or fake an injury to make room for him.

  • Posts: 0 George

    The problem I have with Archer’s comments is not that they are intellectual, but that they are based upon a totally ridiculous analogy. There are absolutely NO SIMILARITIES between COLLEGE basketball and PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL. John Wooden never had to pay for players, and he never had to commit to any of them for more than four years. (Most were only around for two.) Real loyalty there!

    Also, I somehow can’t equate morality with God. If one were to conduct a survey, one would likely find that the vast numbers of prison inmates, including murderers, rapists, con men, and child molesters believed in God. There are some very moral Hindus, Bhuddists, Taoists, and, yes!-even atheists!

    I could comment on the “highly intellectual” cliche “throw them under the bus,” but I won’t.

    Archer’s comments only seem inellectual and cogent, but at least he’s trying. By the length of his post, I’d say he’s very trying.

  • Posts: 0 George

    “inellectual’ should read “intellectual.”

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