Roy Oswalt continues to pay dividends as the Phils completed a weekend series with Washington by winning 6-0. The victory gave the Phils a 3-3 record vs. the Nats in their away and home series of the past few weeks. Ain't nothin' easy when it comes to playing Washington these days.
The taciturn Mississippi native must have felt in his element in steamy Citizens Bank Park yesterday as he pitched seven shutout innings before giving way to a nearly two hour rain delay and the bullpen. The win was Oswalt's third straight in a Phillies uniform after an opening loss attributed to many things other than skill. Ruben Amaro has made a lot of deals involving pitchers since taking over in Philadelphia. On balance, his record looks pretty good though the Cliff Lee deal will always be considered very ill-advised, especially when one looks at the performances on and off the field by the three "prospects" the Phils acquired.
Since Oswalt arrived, the Phillies have won 9 of the 13 games started by their top three hurlers and two of those losses were 1-0 defeats behind hard-luck Cole Hamels. With the hitters still lacking any consistency, pitching remains the key to winning a post-season spot. The Phils hold a two game lead over San Francisco and St. Louis for the Wild Card and still trail the Braves by 2.5 games.