While his time in Philadelphia was short-lived, Roy Oswalt was part of one of the greatest rotations in baseball history.
Oswalt began his major league career as a 23rd round pick out of Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi in 1996.
In five of his first six seasons, Oswalt would be a top-five Cy Young candidate and runner-up for Rookie of the Year behind Albert Pujols. He’d pitch consecutive 20-win campaigns, and led the league in wins and starts with 35 in 2004.
In five of his first six seasons, Oswalt would be a top-five Cy Young candidate and runner-up for Rookie of the Year behind Albert Pujols.
With the Astros in the middle of a lengthy rebuild, Oswalt was one of the many trade casualties the organization had to make. At the trade deadline in 2010 Philadelphia acquired Oswalt from Houston for starter J.A. Happ and prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Singleton.
Happ had just finished second in the Rookie of the Year race behind Chris Coghlan, and Singleton was one of the best power-hitting prospects in baseball.
Oswalt came in and was revitalized in a playoff atmosphere, going 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts. He’d finish sixth in the Cy Young vote after leading baseball with a 1.025 WHIP and finishing the season with a 2.76 ERA.
During the 2010 playoffs Oswalt made three starts and a relief appearances against Cincinnati and San Francisco, including the deciding game six of the NLCS. He pitched eight one-run innings in game two of the series and went six strong giving up one earned run in game six.
One of the great moments of Oswalt’s career came in the 15th inning of a game against his former Houston club when Ryan Howard was ejected for arguing a check swing. With no position players to replace Howard in the field, Phillies starters raced to the clubhouse to get their gloves and spikes. Oswalt was the man chosen to take over in left field where he made a play to get out of the inning.
Of course, the first pitch of the inning was a sinking fly ball right to him.
Oswalt had to leave the team in 2011 after tornadoes went through his hometown in Mississippi, and a back injury hindered him throughout the season. Rumors were that he suffered the injury while working in Mississippi helping the town recover. He was never the same after the injury, and the club did not retain him the following season.