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The Great Unsung: Roy Oswalt & Wade Miller

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by ron413, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. ron413

    ron413 Contributing Member

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    http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/rogers_phil/1426617.html

    Tuesday, September 3

    Oswalt, Miller excelling under the radar screen

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Phil Rogers
    Special to ESPN.com


    Here's a back-to-school pop quiz, under the heading of The Great Unsung:

    1. Which team has the most effective duo of starting pitchers going?
    The automatic answer, of course, is Arizona with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. Hard to go wrong with Boston's Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, either. But what about those rolling Oakland A's, with any combination you'd like from Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Cory Lidle? Or the top half of Anaheim's deep rotation, Jarrod Washburn and Kevin Appier? Maybe Atlanta's Greg Maddux and the resurgent Kevin Millwood?


    Roy Oswalt is third in the NL in wins (17) and fifth in ERA (2.91).


    No, no, no, no and no.

    While it has thus far gotten them only within four games of a playoff spot, the answer is the Houston Astros. Between them, Roy Oswalt and the stealth ace, Wade Miller, are 16-1 with a 2.24 ERA in 20 starts since the All-Star break.

    None of the combinations have fewer than four second-half losses, although Zito and Lidle (14-4, 1.79), Martinez and Lowe (12-4, 1.81) and Maddux and Millwood (13-4, 2.19) have slightly lower earned run averages. The great Johnson and Schilling are 14-4 with a combined 2.57 ERA since the break.

    While Miller has gone 28-11 in his two full seasons as a big-leaguer, he has generally flown under the radar in Houston. Oswalt is among the biggest reasons for this phenomenon. He's piled up a 31-9 record since reaching the big leagues on May 6, 2001.

    "He's got 17 wins in the toughest league in the world,'' Padres right fielder Bubba Trammell said of Oswalt. "That should tell you something. If he keeps the stuff he has right now, he's going to do it year in and year out and have the same kind of year.''

    Oswalt, who just turned 25, is trying to become the seventh Houston pitcher to win 20 games. The others: Larry Dierker, J.R. Richard, Joe Niekro, Mike Scott, Mike Hampton and Jose Lima.

    He can spin a tale, besides. Consider this bit of whimsy he recently laid on Alyson Footer of MLB.com.

    "I was pitching in the Midwest League in '99,'' Oswalt began. "I got hurt in spring training that year. I had some type of calcium buildup underneath my shoulder blade, so I missed the first month of the season. After 10 games, my arm was killing me. It was in my shoulder. But I was still throwing well and I didn't want to come out, plus I was hurt in the beginning of the year and so I really didn't want to be hurt twice in one year. So I tried to pitch through it.

    "The last game I was pitching against the (Lansing affiliate of the) Cubs. I was pitching against Carlos Zambrano, I remember that. They ended up beating us 1-0. In the fifth inning of that game, my arm was just killing me, to the point where I needed to tell somebody. But I pitched nine innings.

    "For two or three weeks I figured it was tendinitis and it would quit hurting. But two or three weeks went by and it was still killing me, to the point where I couldn't sleep at night. About two months went by and I told (my wife) Nicole I'm going to have to go to the doctor. This was the offseason, and it was still hurting. I gave it another week and I was just about to start back lifting weights. I had a truck -- an '85 Ford truck -- and it had a miss in it. So I was in the mode of checking it out. I thought I'd take the sparkplugs out because the wire might be scratched and maybe it was touching a piece of metal and making it miss. The motor wasn't running smoothly. With the older trucks, if you have a sparkplug that's laying against the metal, it might burn and make it miss if it's not hitting on all cylinders.

    "So I was messing with the sparkplug wires. I grabbed the one that would have been burnt. Every time the motor turned over, it was shooting electricity through the sparkplugs. It was shooting volts -- I don't know how hard - but it was shooting so hard I couldn't let go of it. Finally I let go of it, fell on the ground, and I got up and instantaneously my arm felt better. It still hurt just a little bit, but it was nothing like it was.

    "It hasn't bothered me since. I told a trainer about it and he told me that I might have had a bone spur or something in there and the electricity could have knocked it out of the way. It probably saved my pitching career.''
     
  2. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Neither one has lost in two months. It's getting ridiculous. If we get into the playoffs we can take on the big guns. Although Schilling and Johnson make it tuff, because if you give up one run, your like crap, we lost. They are much tougher than our two dynamos because of the mental factor.
     
  3. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Let me add... The way Oswalt is pitching, he could be one of the greatest pichters to ever play the game. Nobody does what he has done to start a career. Not pedro, not Johnson, not anyone. It's really out there as a great accomplishment that nobody has really noticed.
     
  4. moomoo

    moomoo Member

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    Roy "The Assassin" Oswalt :D

    Get it?! eheh... Get it? ehehmmmm...

    :p
     
  5. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Oswalt is currently 32-9. Tim Hudson actually started out with a better W-L record (31-8), but with a much higher ERA.

    The national media has noticed Oswalt. There were a number of them that predicted he would win the Cy Young this year.

    Oswalt's one drawback - he is a terrible bunter :).

    Miller still has some proving to do. He has a great W-L record of 34-18, but 10 of those wins (and one loss) are against the Brewers.
     
  6. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

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    18 - 6 as of now (and his E.R.A. going down)...I think he can make it to 20. It is great to see Oswalt pitch...He can only get better. I dare say he could become the next Schilling.
     
  7. Buck Turgidson

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    Since the beginning of the 2001 season, the only tandem in MLB with a better winning percentage than Whitey/Roy is Schilling/Johnson.

    Unbelievable considering they're in their 3rd & 2nd seasons respectively. Now if only Carlos & Redding can come around, the rotation is set for the next 8-10 years.
     
  8. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    And that's with Captain Kirk, who had almost as dominant a AA career as Roy Oswalt, being the 5th starter. I gotta tell ya, the Yankees can have their big bucks. I like watching the Astros young hopefulls develop almost as much as I like seeing the Astros win. And when we finally do get that world series ring (and we will), it will have been with an almost exclusive set of players developed in our system. I love that.
     
  9. Wakko67

    Wakko67 Contributing Member

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    I hope that those guys continue to do great and stay with The 'Stros. I also think Carlos will be right there with them.

    GO 'STROS!!!
     
  10. Wakko67

    Wakko67 Contributing Member

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    Double Post.
     
  11. Stevie Francis

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    those two will be the best in the mlb, don't forget dotel he those three would be a force.
     

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