Roy Oswalt on fire, Phillies pull away

When Roy Oswalt waved his no-trade clause and moved to the Philadelphia Phillies, there were plenty of people left wondering if he had enough left in the tank to make a difference, never mind be the ace that he had been for so many years in Houston.

Despite a solid 3.42 ERA with the Houston Astros in 2010, Oswalt had just a 6-12 and seemed to have lost the competitive fire that helped him become a bona-fide ace during the middle of the decade.

Since moving to Philadelphia and becoming part of the Phillies “Big 3” or “H2O” pitching staff, Oswalt has silenced his critics and helped the Phillies overtake the Braves to regain the NL East lead.

When Oswalt came to Philly, the Braves led the division by 3.5 games and seemed to be cruising back toward the playoff spot that they owned during the 1990’s. Now, with the help of Oswalt, the Phillies are sitting on a seven game cushion and riding an 11 game winning streak.

Since coming to the City of Brotherly Love, Oswalt has not only regained his ace form, but pitched better than he ever did in Houston. In 11 starts with the Phillies, Oswalt is 7-1 with a sparkling 1.76 ERA and might gain some Cy Young consideration despite his mediocre overall record.

While his 3.13 FIP and 3.43 xFIP show that Oswalt might be pitching a little over his head at the moment, he has already shown that he still has the fire to pitch extremely well.

Oswalt’s last start with the Phillies may have been his best and was definitely the most important.

With the chance to essentially end the Braves chances of winning the NL East with a three game sweep, Oswalt out-dueled Tommy Hanson, allowing just one hit and no runs over seven innings in the Phillies 1-0 shutout win.

While the Phillies may have made the playoffs riding Roy Halladay, the presence of Oswalt has changed the team from good to great and made the Philadelphia Phillies the team to beat in the NL once again.

Used with permission of the author.

 Along with contributing to Sports Climax, Brett Kettyle is the Atlanta Braves Community Leader on Bleacher Report and maintains a Braves column for MTR Media. Follow Brett on Twitter.

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