Roy Oswalt is the number three starter on this pitching staff. Take a look at the line of former Phillies “ace” Randy Wolf. Just take a minute and ponder what the Phillies pitching rotation has become. This is like a damn video game.
Oswalt took on his former employer and hard throwing right hander Bud Norris who got the start in the stead of former Phillie J.A. Happ. This one was over after the Phils punched Norris in the mouth with a four run first inning, highlighted by a three run bomb by Ryan Howard. Ben Francisco followed Howard with another homer effectively ending the Astros chances of coming back. Norris matched Wandy Rodriguez in ineptness by lasting four runs and giving up six runs.
This was the first time in the last eight seasons that Oswalt was not on the mound on opening day. He seems to have adjusted to the change going six innings, allowing five hits, striking out six and walking one. This was the first walk that the Phils pitchers have issued save an intentional pass by Danys Baez. Oswalt spotted his fastball, which was touching 94 MPH and used his curveball to keep the Astros line-up off balance all day.
Hunter Pence was the offensive star for the Astros by going 3-4 with a run scored and an opposite field blast off of Oswalt.
Ryan Howard feel a triple shy of the cycle and drove in four runs. Jimmy Rollins went 2-3 with two walks and a run scored, Placido Polonco was 2-4 with two runs scored and Ben Fransico was 3-5 with the aforementioned homer. Overall the Phillies offense has acquitted itself quite well this weekend. For the third straight day, the Phils reached double digits in hits bludgeoning the Astros pitching staff leading to a 7-3 victory and a sweep of the series.
Shane Victorino tested his calf by pinch hitting in the sixth inning and finishing the game in center field. He even made a nice running catch robbing Michael Borne of extra bases. He looked fine, thank God.
The Mets are coming up next everyone. Chris Young vrs. ace #3 Cole Hamels on Tuesday at 7:05.